By Donald Bondick
Testimony to the Ohio State Legislature
November 22, 2005
allow me to sincerely thank you, Mr. Chairman, and all of the Judiciary Hearing Committee, ladies and gentlemen, distinguished
colleagues, survivors and all of your families for allowing others, including myself, to speak before you today.
If you will, allow me to take you back in time. The year is 1969 and it’s a gorgeous summer day. The AM radio is propped
up in the window of the back screen porch belting out some of the current top hit tunes:
"Sugar, Sugar" - The Archies
"I Can’t Get Next To You" - Temptations
"Honky Tonk Woman" - Rolling Stones
"Build Me Up, Buttercup" - Foundations
- Tommy Roe
"Hot Fun in the Summertime" - Sly & the Family Stone
"Everyday People" - Sly
& the Family Stone
"Get Together" – Youngbloods
"One" - Three Dog Night
Blue Persuasion" - Tommy James & the Shondells
"Crimson & Clover" - Tommy James & the Shondells
"I’ll Never Fall in Love Again" - Tom Jones
"Get Back" - The Beatles
"In the Ghetto"
- Elvis Presley
"Hurt So Bad" - The Lettermen My Story
"These Eyes" - The Guess
This was supposed to be the summer of love. This summer was going to be unforgettable.
years old, was bouncing a tennis ball against the side of a garage playing catch by himself because his big brothers and sister
were out doing other things. But that’s ok - this was a kid who had not only the whole yard but the world to himself.
It was a time for innocence. This was the summer of his youth. The words to the Archies’ song "Sugar, Sugar"
drifted from the back screen porch. This was the summer of his innocence. Sadly, it was to be the last.
had his first crush that summer too. Her name was Kim. Kim thought Donald was cute. She liked to go for walks. They’d
hold hands, talk and listen to each other. Donald liked holding hands with Kim - and vice versa. Holding hands! Remember how
scary and special that felt all at the same time?
They haven’t kissed yet but maybe, just maybe, they will
The local priest gets out of the car, yells to Donald in the back and waves as he approaches the front
steps and rings the doorbell. Donald waves back and smiles. This is the priest that helps with CYO, the local Catholic Youth
Organization at the nearby parish where he, his brother Mike and all of his friends, play basketball. He is a priest, friend,
mentor, chaperone and Shepherd that graces this family with his presence at numerous meals and watches the Bears football
on Sundays with Donald’s Dad, John. His name is Father Ted Feely.
Soon Donald’s Mother calls out the
back door for him to come inside. When he gets inside, his Mother and Father Ted are sharing a cup of coffee. She tells him,
"Father Ted has stopped by to see if you would be interested in going to the Wisconsin Dells for a week?" Donald
cannot believe his ears – Wisconsin Dells?
That was like the Disneyland of the Midwest at that time. The
answer took all of a microsecond and it was a resounding "Yes!" His mother stated that it would be okay as long
as it wasn’t a financial burden on Father Ted, who had insisted that all expenses be covered by him.
next day Father Ted arrived early to pick up Donald and headed off for the long drive to the Dells. Just before Donald left,
his Mother hugged and kissed him. She whispered in Donald’s ear, "You make sure this lasts the whole week, be good
and I love you," slipping him a $20 bill. She also told him to listen to Father Ted and to obey him. He assured her that
he would indeed make it last and that he would listen to Father Ted. Obey him? When didn’t Donald or Mike obey Father?
They always did. This was the first and longest time that Donald was to be away from his Mother. Up to this point, it was
the most money he had ever been entrusted with. Bread was twenty cents a loaf, gas was thirty cents per gallon and a new car
cost $2,000. For a family of seven, this was an obscene amount of money.
On the five-hour ride up to the Dells,
Father asked Donald lots of questions, about his friends, brothers, school, sports and life. He also spoke to him about entering
the priesthood and what a fine priest he would make. Donald told him he already had aspirations of becoming a priest because
his cousin, Father Russell, was a priest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Father Russell had spoken to Donald many times about the
priesthood and had planted that seed years ago. Father Russell was a true friend and knew Donald would be a good leader and
Donald noticed Father Ted chain-smoked Camels, one right after another. Father Ted offered him a cigarette
and he refused, telling him that he had asthma since he was two years old. Donald just rolled down the window and let the
fresh air in to help eliminate the smoke in the car. Father Ted swore as he spoke. Donald had never heard him speak this way
before. He said swear words and even a few "God Damns" when people cut him off on the highway. Donald knew that
was the ultimate sin – a mortal sin – taking God’s name in vain. He told Donald that it was all right for
him to swear when they were together and that it would be "their secret." Again, he asked Donald if he wanted to
try a smoke. He refused a second time and told Father, "No, thanks."
The first thing they did was have
lunch upon arriving in downtown Wisconsin Dells. It was relaxed and Father told "dirty jokes" over lunch at the
diner across the street from their hotel, the Top Hat. Donald found this kind of strange because Father had never done this
before in front of his parents over Sunday dinners. Donald thought Father Ted was acting like "one of the guys"
when he and his buddies would go to the local hamburger stand and tell stories and laugh the afternoon away, while meeting
After lunch, Father Ted told Donald that he needed to take his daily nap. He informed Donald that
if he didn’t get his afternoon rest, he would get "mean." The priest told Donald he could explore all of downtown
if he so desired. He also informed him not to "talk to any strangers." Donald laughed and told Father Ted he knew
all about not talking to strangers – and running the other way. They parted and as Donald looked down the street there
were antique shops, curio and souvenir shops, novelties and the local drug store and of course, pinball arcades! It was the
biggest, coolest arcade he had ever seen. Father Ted had given him $40 with no instructions other than to "enjoy himself"
and return in time for dinner. Wow - $40!
John, Donald’s Dad, had prohibited him from foolishly wasting money
on anything as ignorant as pinball. Father Ted knew this to be the case because John had expressed this to him in one of many
of their Sunday after-dinner chats. Donald walked into the arcade and gazed in awe at all the pinball machines the same way
a compulsive gambler might search out the best slot machine at Bally’s in Vegas or Atlantic City. He saw on every machine
"three games for a quarter" and thought to himself, "I have died and gone to pinball heaven." Donald quietly
played pinball with other teenagers and by himself for over four hours without so much as stopping to go to the bathroom.
He thought to himself that it was all right to talk to kids his own age - they weren’t "strangers." He also
thought to himself that everything was truly right in the world – his world, this world.
Four hours later
and exactly $40 lighter (he knew better than to spend any of his $20 on pinball), he walked into the Top Hat motel. He asked
the clerk which room Father Ted was in and the clerk replied, "Your Dad is on the second floor in room 210." Donald
chuckled to himself that Father Ted had probably told the clerk that he was his son. Why would he do such a thing? As he approached
the room the door was slightly ajar, television blaring, and he knocked hard on the door. Father Ted yelled for him to enter
and as to why in the hell he was knocking on the door. He walked in the room and it was a large television viewing area, small
table for eating, refrigerator, etc. Donald continued walking straight ahead and noticed the large king-size bed and bathroom.
"Hey – Father, where am I supposed to sleep?" he asked. Father Ted told him he was sleeping right
there in the bed. Donald asked where Father was sleeping. He pointed at the bed and stated, "Right there." He explained
that one big bed was cheaper than two bedrooms and Donald never gave it another thought.
The rest of the night
Father Ted took Donald on amusement rides, horseback riding, eating all the wrong things, cotton candy, Cokes, burgers and
elephant ears. They laughed and had a good time. Father Ted even convinced Donald to try one of his Camel cigarettes but it
was all right because it was "their secret."
The world was abuzz for Donald in this playground of the
Midwest. Before returning to the motel that night, Father Ted stopped at the liquor store and bought a fifth of Ballentine’s
scotch and a six pack of Budweiser. Donald thought this was weird because Father didn’t like beer. He was a drinker
strictly of scotch and wine at Sunday masses. Getting back inside the room around 10:30 P.M. he sat down and poured himself
a scotch on the rocks. He instructed Donald that the beer was all his and he could have as many as he wanted.
he told him that it was "their secret." After the third or fourth beer, Donald stated he was going to bed and staggered
right to the bedroom, put on his pajamas and went to bed. It had been an exceptional day being a grown up.
Donald awoke at 2:00 A.M., it wasn’t because of an asthma attack.
Father Ted already had him in a choke hold
with his left arm, was deep inside of him and was masturbating him with his right hand. Donald fought for his life –
he fought as hard as he possibly could. But Father Ted was stronger and just whispered in his ear, "Don’t worry
– it’ll be over soon." Donald cried, and cried and cried because it hurt so much. Where was Jesus now? Why
would he allow this to happen to him? And for a moment, it was as if Donald was floating high above the bed looking down at
this evil, sick embrace by this monster, this priest, this – stranger. He heard his Mom and Dad’s voice and Father
Ted’s voice repeating, "Don’t talk to strangers, don’t ever talk to strangers."
Father Ted came inside of Donald, he withdrew and whispered in his ear, "I knew you were different than the others, I
could tell." This was the summer of love, the summer of fun. Not anymore.
Donald immediately got out of bed
when Father Ted relaxed his death grip on him and ran to the bathroom barely making it. A flood of feces, blood and semen
rushed out of him. He thought, "Oh my God – I’m dying." He then turned, dropped to his knees and vomited,
choking on some of it. He knew for sure he was dying.
Donald washed himself with soap and a washcloth and exited
the bathroom. He went straight to the living room and lay on the couch not understanding what had just happened. Father Ted
never asked if he was all right. He just went back to sleep in his big, comfortable bed. Donald knew he was far from being
The next morning Donald was in the shower and rivulets of bright red blood were running
down his leg, spinning down the drain. Father Ted opened the bathroom door. "Hey, do you need any help in there?"
he asked. Donald looked up from shampooing his hair and saw a naked man – correction – a naked erect man through
the clear shower curtain, standing in the doorway masturbating. He yelled, "Get the hell out of here before I kill you!!"
Father Ted replied, "Ok, Ok, I’m sorry – I’ll leave you alone." But he didn’t. Father Ted
continued stroking his erection in the doorway while watching Donald shower. When he was finished he moaned, wiped himself,
exited the doorway and closed the door. Donald thought to himself, "My God, my God – please don’t leave me.
Protect me – please."
Nothing was spoken between the two and there was a dead silence between them.
At breakfast, Donald ordered eggs, bacon, toast and juice. Father Ted ordered oatmeal. Donald asked Father Ted why he didn’t
order eggs. Father told him, "The egg whites remind me of cum." Donald thought to himself, "Oh my God –
that’s what must have come out of me last night." Egg whites, semen, ejaculate sperm or as Father had eloquently
put it, "cum." Donald really hated this person sitting across from him. He was evil. He was a monster.
After breakfast, Father Ted told Donald he was tired and was going back to the motel to rest. He then gave Donald $100.
A hundred-dollar bill - something he had never held before that moment. He told him to stop back to the motel just before
evening dinner and unleashed him on the Wisconsin Dells once again.
Donald walked around the Dells and felt different
from everyone else. He felt independent and alone all at the same time. He asked himself who could he call, who could he tell
what happened less than eight hours ago alone in that room with the monster? The answer was nobody. He didn’t want anyone
to know that this priest, this monster with his huge dick, had raped him. Had in a sense - screwed him. Donald just knew that
he had to stay far away from Father Ted the entire week. Donald went to the arcade and played pinball all day long. He gave
money to other kids too. He didn’t want this money. Because it was his money - the monster’s money.
second night Donald stayed on the couch and refused to go in to the bedroom. He drank coffee and fought to stay awake to protect
himself. He held a shoe in his hand just in case the monster came back. Donald eventually fell asleep with his head on the
armrest and awoke to a creaking sound. It was the monster coming at him in the dark, naked with his huge, erect penis just
inches from his face.
Donald bolted upright and yelled, "Get the hell away from me or I’ll kill you!!!"
And you want to know something? He meant every word. Father Ted stated he was just "checking on him" and retreated
back to his bedroom. Donald told himself that he must stay awake tonight and every night.
The next morning, another
$100, another set of instructions when to return. This went on for five days until the return back to Rockford, Illinois.
Rockford seemed so far away. Father Ted told Donald that what happened between them was their secret and that if he told his
parents anything – it would destroy them.
He also told Donald that it would destroy his family as he knew
it to be. He also told him nobody would believe his story because everybody loved Father Ted, their local Shepherd.
Upon returning home, Donald’s Mother, Hilda, asked him if he had behaved himself and had a good time. He smiled and
assured her he had indeed. It was good to be home away from the monster. Father Ted was gone for the moment but Donald was
never, ever safe again.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, how would you feel if someone you trusted one hundred
percent and unconditionally, came in to your home and brutally raped and choked your son, daughter or grandchild and changed
the course of their life forever?
There has to be some recourse by which all survivors of sexual abuse can seek
justice. I pray you will search deep in your hearts, your souls and make a just and fair decision on Ohio SB - 17 and pass
it in its entirety.
Donald, the teenage boy and inner child, thanks all of you and Donald’s wife Lorrie,
who couldn’t make this journey – my wife, my partner, my soul mate and my best friend - thanks you from the bottom
of her heart for listening to this story. The story from the summer of 1969.
Respectfully submitted today on behalf
of the following:
Lorrie and our beautiful son, Joe Bondick; Hilda Bondick; my sister Ann Field; my brothers John,
Mike (who was also attacked by Fr. Ted Feely), and Tony; and for my Father, John Stanley "Brown Eyes" Bondick, who
never knew of my abuse and died in my arms on June 22, 1997.