Church sexual abuse survivor speaks out in the film 'Prey'

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Image: Gilad Cohen

In a period of 34 years, it is estimated that Father William "Hod" Marshall had sexually assaulted at least 100 boys. The Basilian Fathers of Toronto, the Catholic order responsible for Marshall, certainly knew about this. Yet, instead of Marshall losing his clerical status and job with the Catholic school board, he was continually moved by the order to different communities and privately settled with survivors for their silence. It would be nearly 60 years until he faced prison time.

One of those survivors is Rod MacLeod. As illustrated in the documentary Prey, MacLeod has struggled with the trauma from Marshall's abuse and the church's priority of image over survivors. Fifty-six years after that night, he was committed to force the Basilian Fathers of Toronto into a legal battle and take responsibility for their negligence. A jury found that MacLeod was entitled to $2.6 million in compensation before the order appealed. However, more important than the settlement itself, Rod has been on a mission to empower survivors to speak about their experiences and create legal precedents to punish those in the church who abuse their power.

Along with director Matt Gallagher, Rod talks to hosts Gilad Cohen and Andrea Rodriguez about how the Catholic Church has continued to fail survivors, how toxic masculinity affects male survivors of sexual assault, and if the church has really changed.

Download the episode transcript here.

Hosted by Gilad Cohen (Founder, JAYU) and Andrea Rodriguez, produced and edited by Brandon Fragomeni and Alex Castellani. Associate producer: Ron Ma.

Image: Gilad Cohen.

Theme music created for The Hum by Jeff Morrow.

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