Woman Claims Priest Kicked, Bit, Slapped, Sexually Abused and Hit Her With Baseball Bat During ‘Therapy Sessions’

Parishioner seeks compensation for violent abuse of re-offending priest as Church turned blind eye

Susan Manter is sueing Rev. Michael Abdelahad, St. George’s Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral of Worcester in the Worcester Supreme Court for years of abuse she alleges she suffered at the hands of the Antiochian priest, Courthouse News reported.

From 2007 to September 2010, Manter claims that under the guise of providing so-called psychological 'therapy services’,  Rev. Michael Abdelahad kicked, bit and slapped her in the body and head with his hands, fists, feet, and objects like a baseball bat which resulted in serious bodily injury.

Manter contends that she was also assaulted sexually by Abdelahad from 2009-2010 and that the abuse typically occurred in his office in Worcester.  She alleges that the abuse resulted in horrendous physical injuries requiring hospitalization on several occasions:

"Plaintiff sustained broken bones, concussions, and other serious bodily injuries as a result of the physical harm inflicted upon her by defendant Michael Abdelahad, requiring hospitalization, multiple trips to doctors, and multiple trips to dentists," the complaint reads.

Manter, who is seeking compensation and a jury trial, argues that the Church and other named defendants knew or should have known of the abuse she sustained particularly because of the priests’ public history of violence. 

In 2012, Abdelahad was  sentenced to 90 days of a two-year prison term after being found guilty of physically abusing a female parishioner during counseling sessions, yet the Church took no action and continued to hold him in high esteem, as reported by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

Following the 2012 assault, an online petition was created entitled, “Defrock Charles Michael Abdelahad” outlining the history of his ‘therapeutic malpractice’ and calling for the priest to be expelled, returned to laity, and barred from serving with the church ever again.

Unsurprisingly, the Church and diocese failed to comment.




Jodie Gummow is a senior fellow and staff writer at AlterNet.


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