A Nigerian Catholic Priest, Fr. Cyprian Duru has been accused of rape by a 68-year-old retired American teacher Kathy Coll.
According to reports, who has sued the priest claims the alleged rape happened in 2016.
The 13-count suit, saw Coll suing the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, Bishop David Zubik, and St. Teresa of Avila Roman Catholic Parish, her Ross Township church.
Coll who is a retired high school English teacher and Eucharistic minister who sang in the choir, reportedly taught CCD classes and volunteered hours for her church.
The women went on to state that her life took a turn for the worse after the sexual assault by Father Duru, who was studying at Duquesne University and assisting her North Hills parish.
The widowed mother of two adult sons revealed she had issues processing how the Catholic Church responded two years ago when she first reported the rape in 2016.
“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.”
Coll also alleged that the church got complains from others about Duru’s inappropriate behaviour toward older women, but did nothing about it and also refused to explain why Duru was removed from ministry after she reported her assault
The suit also revealed how Duru — whom Coll agreed to tutor in English and occasionally transported to Pittsburgh — began taking frequent walks through her neighbourhood that fall.
The suit also revealed that on Dec. 11, 2016, Duru stopped by her home pretending he had a Christmas card for her. She said she offered him a drink and he followed her to her family room, where he overpowered her and assaulted her as she screamed for him to stop.
Duru, who remains at Duquesne on a student visa, could not be reached for comment.
Coll’s lawyer, Pittsburgh attorney Sharon Smith, said the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute Duru.
Despite Coll undergoing a rape kit exam at UPMC Passavant hospital which showed evidence of intercourse, she said authorities made her understand it would come down to a “he-said-she said” case as Duru was claiming it was consensual.
A spokesman for Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala told the Trib that;
“After reviewing the evidence and the investigation, we informed the victim and her attorney that based on the evidence as it exists, we cannot move forward with any charges,” said Zappala spokesman Mike Manko.
A spokesman for the Pittsburgh Diocese insisted that the
“When the Diocese of Pittsburgh learned of the allegation against Cyprian Duru, he was immediately removed from the parish where he was in residence and his faculties were suspended,” said diocesan spokesman the Rev. Nicholas Vaskov. “He cannot function as a priest or dress in clerical attire. He is not in active ministry in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.”
He said the diocese also alerted Duru’s bishop in Nigeria of the allegations and the Duquesne University have also been alerted to the allegations.
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