At least one agent of the Franciscans not only was put on notice of Johnson’s propensities but observed and likely participated in one of his sexual assaults long before Johnson assaulted Ernesto.
Unfortunately, as the school year came to a close yet another notorious perpetrator and faculty member, then religious brother and future priest, Gus Krumm, inflicted another violent sexual assault on Craig. Specifically, one night as Craig walked down a seminary hallway he passed by Krumm’s office and heard what sounded like grunts or groans coming from inside.
As the front office door was open, Craig entered and asked if everything was ok. Krumm emerged from his bedroom shortly thereafter; Krumm appeared to be sweating and smelled bad, and looked disheveled wearing only Corduroy shorts and a gray t-shirt. Krumm angrily asked what Craig was doing in his office, and Craig explained he had heard strange noises and thought someone needed help.
This enraged Krumm who proceeded to grab Craig, spin him around, and drive Craig forcefully into the office wall.
Krumm then pinned Craig from behind to the point the boy could not move, pushing Craig’s face against the wall
Krumm then pinned Craig from behind to the point the boy could not move, pushing Craig’s face against the wall. Krumm then began thrusting his groin against Craig’s buttocks, placed his mouth next to Craig’s ear, and reached around and grabbed the terrified and immobilized boy’s genitals, squeezing them tightly to the point Craig was in so much pain he began to cry.
Eventually Krumm said something to the effect of "you didn’t see anything here, you didn’t hear anything, and you’re not wanted. And you’re probably not coming back."
Craig was so terrified and in such pain he agreed immediately. Krumm then released Craig’s genitals and shoved the still crying boy out of the office.
When Craig first arrived at St. Anthony’s he felt tremendously relieved to be away from his abusive home-life. Catholic schools and parishes had long been his sanctuary, and St. Anthony’s felt particularly safe as it was located far away from his stepfather in another state. As a result, Craig's initial sense of relief was overwhelming, almost to the point of euphoria.
The Perpetrators, acting as managing agents of the Defendants, utilized the trust and reverence inherent in their status as a Franciscans to isolate and abuse Craig.
Craig was raised in a devout Roman Catholic family that idolized priests, was taught by Defendants to trust, revere and obey priests as God’s representatives on Earth, and had long viewed priests as the caretakers of his sanctuary from an abusive home-life. The Perpetrators exploited Craig’s hope of having been rescued from his abusive home-life and also utilized Craig’s trust and resulting vulnerability and deference to priests to manipulate Craig, who was approximately fourteen (14) and fifteen (15) years of age during the period of abuse.
Medical Exams by Franciscans with no Medical Training, strangely all centered on the pubic area...
One of the manipulations resulted in Craig’s abuse in the infirmary during the purported physical exam. When Craig was instructed to go to the infirmary he did as he was told. Once there, Father Robert Van Handel fraudulently informed Craig before the assault that Craig was there for a "check-up" to be performed by the Perpetrator.
The Perpetrator then fraudulently informed Craig he had to conduct a "test" on Craig. This use of what on its face appeared to be a legitimate medical purpose, while in the school infirmary, coupled with Van Handel’s and the Perpetrator’s trusted status as Franciscans, inhibited Craig’s awareness of the wrongfulness of this conduct until recently.
Van Handel and the Perpetrator thus exploited Craig’s having been raised in the Catholic church, as well as Craig’s desperate need to feel he was finally safe, and fraudulently induced Craig to believe he had been called to the infirmary for a legitimate medical purpose. Consequently, while sensing something was wrong Craig could not comprehend why he felt ashamed and embarrassed after the supposed exams, and was unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of the conduct until recently, within the last three years.
Craig finds out other students had the same abusive medical exams through previous cases.
Specifically, it was not until after he began recovering his memories of the abuse by Johnson and Krumm that he first sought out and read other accounts of St. Anthony’s students who were sexually abused, it was during this time that Craig first learned that many students had been abused during fraudulent physical examinations conducted by Franciscan perpetrators.
Only after reading these accounts did he begin to suspect Van Handel’s and the Perpetrator’s statements were fraudulent, and had been utilized by the two Franciscans to make him vulnerable to the abuse by the Perpetrator. Until then, Van Handel’s and the Perpetrator’s fraud, coupled with Craig’s inherent trust in the words of the priests and his desperate need to believe he was finally somewhere safe, resulted in psychological blocking mechanisms that prevented Craig from facing and realizing the Perpetrator’s conduct in the infirmary was wrongful and had caused him injury.
With regards to the assaults by Johnson and Krumm, shortly after the assault by Krumm, Craig returned to Phoenix for the summer. Initially Craig was hopeful things had changed at home, but the abuse there continued soon after his return. Feeling trapped between two terrifying choices – physical abuse at home in Phoenix versus physical and sexual abuse at St. Anthony’s – Craig turned for help to the only remaining person and place he felt he could trust, one of the priests at his home parish.
That priest had always been supportive of Craig in the past, helping him gain admission to St. Anthony’s. As a result, he was the only remaining person Craig felt he could speak honestly to about St. Anthony’s. Craig hoped that priest would be able to refer him (Craig) and help him gain admission to another school outside of Phoenix, one without the horrors to which he had been subjected at St. Anthony’s. Much to Craig’s dismay when he went to the parish he was unable to find his perceived savior, instead encountering Father Thomas O’Brien, a priest who would go on to become the Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix. (See Parts 2 and 3 of this story)