Woman Reveals Details of Alleged Sex Abuse [VIDEO]
A Burlington woman alleges she was sexually assaulted by a family member at the Showcase Cinemas in the late 1960s, early 1970s.
UPDATE: Wednesday, Feb. 1, 6:30 p.m.—
A Burlington woman is claiming her uncle, a Waltham businessman, sexually assaulted her many times between 1968 and 1977, according to a lawsuit filed in Middlesex Superior Court.
Rosanne Sliney, 48, claims her uncle, Domenic Previte Jr., of Waltham, sexually assaulted and raped her hundreds of times starting when she was five. Some of the alleged abuse occurred at the Showcase Cinemas in Woburn.
“Domenic, you took away my childhood, my adolescence. I have struggled my whole life,” Sliney said during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.
The alleged abuse continued until 1977, when she was 14, according to the lawsuit. Sliney, who grew up in Waltham, also claims Previte forced her to have sex with other men, whose identities have not been made public, according to the lawsuit.
Sliney is asking for an undisclosed amount of financial compensation for her pain and suffering, including multiple hospital stays starting at age 24, as well as attorney’s fees.
Previte did not return requests for an interview Wednesday.
According to the lawsuit, the alleged abuse occurred at Previte’s Waltham home (a different address then where he lives now), at a Cambridge car wash, the Showcase Cinemas in Woburn and the Maverick nightclub in North Reading. Previte owned the car wash where the alleged abuse took place, said Sliney’s attorney Carmen Durso.
Extend the statute of limitations
Sliney, during a press conference at Durso’s Boston office Wednesday, said she was speaking out to help inspire other victims of sexual abuse to come forward and to call on state lawmakers to eliminate the statute of limitations for alleged victims to report abuse and file criminal charges. She also called for lawmakers to eliminate the statute of limitations for filing a civil lawsuit.
Durso said that in this case, the statute of limitations for criminal charges has expired, thus preventing Sliney from filing charges against Previte.
“There should be no time limit. We should be able to obtain justice in our own time and at our own pace,” she said, noting that alleged victims are often reluctant to file a lawsuit or charges at first because they are focused on recovery.
Sliney recalls the abuse
Rosanne Sliney, now 48 years old and living in Burlington, started recalling the abuse when she was in her early 20s, she said. She said she never told anybody about it during the time in which it occurred, between ages 5 and 14.
A former teacher and coach, Sliney said Wednesday she started recalling more memories of abuse in which she was forced to have sex with other men at the former Maverick nightclub at the intersection of Main and Park streets in North Reading. She was 13 or 14 years old at the time, she said.
“They were pretty horrific and horrible,” Sliney said of the recent memories.
A family's reaction
The alleged abuse took a severe toll on the family and Sliney said she no longer speaks with her aunts. Sliney said she, her brother and sister decided she should inform her aunts of the abuse—but received an unexpected response.
“The first thing they said was, 'We knew,'” Sliney said. “They just didn’t want to believe it."
However, her aunts pledged to support Sliney and suggested she confront Previte.
“Over time, it became clear to me that this family’s main concern was to keep me quiet and not support me,” Sliney said.
Sliney had a stern message for anybody involved in covering up the alleged abuse.
“To all the adults involved, shame on you for covering this up. Today, I can say that I am strong enough to speak out. I have suffered enough and I’m not hiding anymore,” she said.