Despite hearing about or reading up on countless encounters where young children are often abused by people close to them or their families, sometimes people still turn a blind eye to accounts of child sexual abuse. An 11-year-old girl from Italy had to record sexual advances made by Father Michele Mottola on her mobile phone to get adults to believe her story and have the perpetrator arrested. The accused priest, Father Michele Mottola, began grooming the minor in 2017 soon after taking up the post as parish priest of Trentola Ducenta in Campania, near Naples, according to a report by Church Militant. The abuse, which lasted until February 2018, began when Marina was 10 years old.
Pedophiles often use the manipulative tool of 'grooming' their
underage victims, pretending to be loving, caring adults. They often
give them gifts and try to win their families over. Mottola had earned
the trust of the child's family by regularly visiting them and showering
the girl with gifts like a jacket, a watch, and a computer. When the
child opened up to her mother about the abuse she chose to believe the
manipulative liar over her own daughter and threatened to admit her into
a mental institution.
The child seemed desperate to get help and escape her horrifying
situation. She confided in two parishioners and told them she was being
sexually abused. One of them recounted, "The child told me in
confidence, 'You know there is someone in the parish who does things to
me, it is Don Michele, he kisses me.'" Both of them refused to believe
her as well so she began writing notes for help. "But is what Don
Michele and we do called sex?" the child wrote. This failed as well, and
the little girl resorted to recording her abuse.
In the disturbing recording, the priest can be heard asking to kiss the child and her protests against it. He says, "There is no one here. Are you afraid? Kiss me, hug me." The girl can be heard pleading and saying "Enough, enough". And later the pedophile says "Take this to dry yourself.'" A few weeks later the victim told the priest that she has reported the incident to other parishioners. He defended his actions and threatened her. "You didn't have to do it, because now they will understand other things. Things will get very bad. I will come to your home to talk to your parents."
In addition to the disturbing abuse, no one believing the girl must have made her feel terribly alone and sad. The abuser continued to try to her quiet and also accused the girl of lying, saying, "You can tell lies. Did you understand you can lie? You're like Islamic suicide bombers, throwing a bomb, killing people and leaving. The mud ends up also on your family and on you."
Eventually, the parishioners intervened and the mother reported the
incident to the police. He was suspended from the parish and eventually
arrested by the police and remains in jail to this day. The girls'
mother told Palmieri, the reporter from Le Iene,
a television program on the Italian channel Italia 1, "My daughter was
smarter than him, she was good, eh? She was very good and I'm proud of
my daughter." Perhaps if her mother realized this a little earlier, her
daughter could have been spared the further accounts of abuse, she had
to suffer from the fact that no adult was there to help her. Let alone