2017-05-09 04:20:18 UTC
The students in the school for deaf children would call her the
bad nun, the woman who was supposed to take care of them, but
who they say would send them into rooms to be sexually abused by
priests. Others said she committed abuse herself and would force
them to watch pornography on television.
And in a particularly abhorrent case, after a 5-year-old girl
was sexually assaulted by a priest, the Roman Catholic nun
allegedly forced her to wear a diaper in class, to conceal the
bleeding, according to Argentine news reports.
Because the other children at the school were deaf, only the
victims abusers would have heard their cries.
The nun, named Kosaka Kumiko, was arrested and charged Friday on
suspicion of helping priests sexually abuse children at the
Antonio Provolo Institute, a school for the hearing-impaired in
the Mendoza province of Argentina, authorities said. She was
also charged with physically abusing the students.
Kumikos arrest stems from a sex abuse scandal that has roiled
the Catholic Church from Argentina to Rome, and has resulted in
Vatican probes and the arrests of two priests and three other
At least 24 students of the Provolo Institute in Argentina have
come forward seeking justice for the abuse they say they
suffered years ago at the hands of the Rev. Nicola Corradi, 82,
the Rev. Horacio Corbacho, 55, and three other men. The five
were arrested in late November by police who raided the school
in Lujan de Cuyo, a city about 620 miles northwest of Buenos
Aires, after they found magazines featuring naked women and
about $34,000 in Corradis room, the Associated Press reported.
Kumiko arrived Thursday in Mendoza for a nearly nine-hour
hearing before a judge after a month of being a fugitive,
according to La Nacion. She is believed to have been hidden in
northeast Argentina or in a bordering country and turned herself
in to authorities in Buenos Aires last week.
Wearing her habit and a bulletproof vest in the courtroom, she
denied all the accusations, telling the judge I knew nothing of
the abuses, I watched over the children.
Im innocent, Kumiko said. I did not know about the abuses. I
am a good person that has given my life to God.
Authorities began investigating Kumikos role in the scandal
when a 17-year-old girl came forward to allege the nun had
placed a dressing or diaper over her bleeding when she was 5
years old, preventing her from sitting in the classroom. Other
victims came forward accusing Kumiko of actively participating
in the abuse while she lived in the Provolo Institute, from 2004
to 2012, authorities said, according to the Associated Press.
Kumikos role was to take care of hearing-impaired children who
lived far from Greater Mendoza and had to board at the school.
Instead, she targeted the most vulnerable children and covered
up abuse by her superiors, prosecutors allege, according to
Argentine news outlet Clarín.
Victims and prosecutors say the priests are accused of raping,
sexually abusing and fondling the students in bathrooms, dorms,
a garden and a basement at the school.
The school has a little chapel with an image of the Virgin and
some chairs where the kids would get confession and receive the
communion. Thats where some of the acts were happening, former
lead prosecutor Fabrizio Sidoti told the Associated Press.
One of the alleged victims told the Associated Press she
witnessed how a girl was raped by one priest while the other one
forced her to give him oral sex
They always said it was a game: Lets go play, lets go play
and they would take us to the girls bathroom, said one of the
women who claims that she was abused at the school in Argentina.
Dozens of students in the Provolo Institutes school in Italy
were similarly abused for decades. Some victims accuse Corradi,
the same priest now being charged in Argentina, according to the
In 2009, students in the Italian school went public with
horrifying tales of their abuse. The Vatican ordered an
investigation and sanctioned four accused priests, but not
After the students again named Corradi as an abuser living in
Pope Franciss native Argentina in a 2014 letter to the pope and
a bishop in Verona, Italy, the Vatican still took no action. But
this year a Vatican official said Pope Francis wanted to assure
the victims that the church was taking measures to protect
children and prevent sexual abuse. A Vatican investigative
commission recently visited Mendoza to learn more about the case
against the priests.
The accused priests are being held at a jail in Mendoza and have
not spoken publicly since the arrests. If found guilty, they
could face 10 to 50 years in prison.
Lawyers called Kumiko the demon with the face of a woman
behind the abuse, Prensa Libre reported.
Kumiko was born in Japan and arrived in Argentina with her
family in 1977. Her parents later died, and Kumiko became a nun
in the year 2000. After serving at the Provolo Institute, she
was based in different religious schools in the province of
In court, Kumiko said the allegations are a strategy of the
victims families to get money. She said the wave of
accusations against priests and nuns is nothing more than a
campaign of discrediting the Church, intended to defile an
entire religious order.