A 68-year-old retired American teacher, Kathy Coll, has sued a Nigerian Catholic Priest, Fr. Cyprian Duru, for allegedly raping her back in 2016.
According to CBS Television, Coll in a legal suit, detailed how Duru stopped by her home in December 2016 on the pretence of giving her a Christmas card and allegedly raped her.
Coll claimed that when she offered him a cold drink, he followed her to her family room, overpowered her and assaulted her as she screamed for him to stop.
Since then, Coll claimed her life changed for worse after the sexual assault by Father Duru, who was studying at Duquesne University and assisting her North Hills parish.
According to her, she has been trying to seek healing from the trauma of rape; adding that the shame, anxiety and depression were daunting.
“The hardest part was telling my pastor, who sat and cried with me and then notified the diocese,” Coll recalled.
The widowed mother of two adult sons said she still has trouble processing how the Catholic Church responded two years ago when she reported she had been raped in 2016 by a Nigerian priest.
She alleges that the church heard complaints from others about Duru’s inappropriate behavior toward older women, failed to act quickly, and later neglected to explain why Duru was removed from ministry after she reported her assault.
“I spent 2 ½ years trying to get someone to listen to me,” Coll said. “No one was listening to me, so I decided it was time to say I want to make something happen here.”
Last week, she filed a suit against the St. Teresa of Avila Roman Catholic Church, the Pittsburgh diocese, and Bishop David Zubik.
Coll maintained that she was disappointed that District Attorney Stephen Zappala’s office said prosecutors lacked sufficient evidence to pursue charges.
But the retired high school English teacher said her biggest disappointment was learning that a church she continues to love and turned to for help had scant resources for abused women.
“There were visits by the (Pittsburgh) Diocese Trauma Team to my house offering prayer and help to find a therapist. But I found out they really don’t have anything for women who have been abused,” Coll said.
Coll said a therapist the diocese recommended within minutes of meeting her declared that she was depressed, anxious and suffering from PTSD.
“He said, ‘We’ll get you on medication and four or five sessions here, and you’ll be on your way.’ I walked out of there after 20 minutes and never went back,” she said.
Eventually, she found a therapist who helped her marshal her strength.
As she regained her footing in the world, the widowed mother of two adult sons resolved to doing something to help others.