Priest Sex Abuse Scandal Touches Chrislip, Kind Of
The sordid scandal of sex abuse by Catholic priests just got a little sordider.
Back in the early 1970s, Chrislip resident Raymond Mills was an altar boy at St. Ambrose church. Father Douglas Smalley was the pastor, and the priest and the boy became good friends. By all appearances it seemed innocent enough, but for young Raymond, a nightmare lurked under the surface.
“Father Doug and I were alone together a lot,” he says, his eyes welling with tears at the memory. “In the church, in the rectory. My parents trusted him, I guess.”
His eyes harden and his voice grows cold. “Not once did he lay a hand on me. Never. I wasn’t gay, but hey, I was fourteen, I would’ve welcomed any action. But no. He was a paragon of virtue. All he ever wanted to talk about was baseball and fishing.”
Mills is suing the diocese for $10 million, claiming that the lack of abuse by Father Doug caused him untold mental anguish.
Father Doug left the Chrislip parish in 1980, and has since passed away. It will be difficult for Mills to prove that the priest never molested him. Why didn’t he come forward sooner?
“I was a kid, and it’s hard for a kid to talk to grownups about stuff like that. So I kept my mouth shut.” He grins. “And like most teenage boys, the only fun I ended up having was with Rosey Palm and her five sisters.”
The Journal contacted Rosey Palm, and while she admits to a promiscuous lifestyle in the ’70s, she denies that she ever dated Raymond Mills. Her five sisters have left Chrislip, or are deceased, and could not be reached for comment.