Calif. Priest's Victim: 'He Was God'

Four decades later, Stephen Kiesle's victim speaks out
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2010 10:08 AM CDT
This May 17, 2002 booking photo shows former priest Stephen Kiesle.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – It started with a 7-year-old girl innocently sitting on the lap of the playful "big kid" priest with the purple sneakers, and it quickly turned to sexual abuse that he framed as exorcisms. "He told me I had the devil inside me" as he touched her chest and genitals, Melinda Costello tells the New York Times in an interview describing former Oakland priest Stephen Kiesle, whose scandal is four decades later threatening to engulf even Pope Benedict. “I was terrified,” she says. “He was God.”

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