PARMA, Ohio (WJW) – A North Carolina woman is sounding the alarm about abuse she says she endured inside a now-defunct Northeast Ohio home for children.
“I was there for four years of hell,” said Carolyn Mason.
Mason was 4 years old when she became a resident of Parmadale Children’s Village of St. Vincent DePaul in Parma, which was founded in 1925.
During a news conference in Westlake Tuesday, Mason, now 61, says she endured serious physical abuse at the hands of a nun who was her primary caregiver.
“I was upset for being there. She said we don’t waste food and I would throw up and she would feed it back to me, a spoon at a time,” Mason said.
She also alleged sexual abuse at the hands of a priest.
“Now they’re doing an investigation,” said Mason. “There’s two separate investigators, one for the priest abuse sodomy and one for the nun. So I have to tell my story to the priest side and to the nun side.”
The Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine confirmed to FOX 8 that there is an active investigation underway.
While the details are confidential, a statement goes on to say, in part, “Protecting the most vulnerable is central to our healing ministry. Harming individuals, especially children, goes against every value we stand for.”
Parmadale’s campus is no longer there, with 13-residential cottages and other buildings now demolished. The 80 acres of land are now part of the Metroparks West Creek Reservation.
Robert Hoatson, PhD., co-founder and president of Road to Recovery, Inc. said, “The building’s may be destroyed, but these folks live with the abuse every single day.”
Because of the statute of limitations, there is no law in Ohio that would allow a criminal case of abuse to proceed.
But Carolyn is seeking undisclosed monetary damages and is calling on the Cuyahoga County prosecutor to probe the Cleveland Diocese and officials who failed to stop the abuse.
The Sisters of Charity are paying for Carolyn’s therapy for post-traumatic stress, but she says the ultimate form of justice in her eyes is public acknowledgment for the abuse she says she endured.
“Closure, so I can close the door and not having to bring it up again and not look back,” she said.