PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/ CBS 5)-- It’s been 40 years since Charles Taylor says he was sexually abused by a priest in Tucson.
Taylor says he was 12 years old when Father Richard Babcock abused him.
“I was molested by an Episcopal priest for three years in the Diocese of Arizona in Tucson,” Taylor said in a Monday news conference.
Taylor said he tried to get justice in the past, but the charges were dropped because of the statute of limitations.
But in May, Arizona lawmakers passed a new law that opens the window for all victims no matter how old the allegations—giving them until December 2020 to sue.
“You suffer with pain when you’ve been molested. You have a lot of emotional pain, [and] sometimes suffer from physical pain,” Taylor said.
Arizona’s Family sat down with Jennifer Redall, the current bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona on Tuesday.
“When I watched his press conference yesterday, I agreed with 95 percent of what he [said]… and, actually, there’s a part of me that would really like to sit down and talk with him,” Redall said. “We don’t want victims or potential victims of sexual abuse to feel silenced or feel their stories aren’t welcomed or [that] we don’t want to listen.”
Taylor isn’t the only person to accuse Babcock of sexual abuse in the 1970s. Babcock resigned and then, before his death, admitted to hurting two other boys.
“He confessed to that,” Redall said.
Taylor’s attorney said on Monday that the church knew about the abuse and transferred Babcock out of town.
Redall said that Babcock’s transfer happened before any allegations. She also said the church is eager to hear from any victims and they have new policies in place nationwide, which include contacting law enforcement immediately and training everyone in their churches.
“In the current form, what it does is cover how to have a safe program in terms of making sure adults and children are never one-on-one and there’s always two adults with groups of children. So, there’s not an opportunity for abuse,” Redall said.
Redall said the church is investigating the allegations made by Taylor.
“Church, wake up! Wake up, take ownership and do whatever it is to help the victims who are suffering,” Taylor said.
Taylor says he’ll do whatever it takes to get the resources to help other potential victims.