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March 18th, 2010
11:05 AM ET

Video: Priest's victim relives horror

Drew Griffin
CNN Special Investigations Unit

Ireland, one of the world's most Catholic countries, has been reeling from the revelation that Catholic leaders there covered up child abuse, including sexual abuse, by priests for decades.

But not all of the victims were Irish.

The Emerald Isle exported many priests over the years. And that's how one of Ireland's most prolific, known child abusers ended up in Rhode Island in the late 1960s.

Helen McGonigle was 6 when, she says, the Rev. Brendan Smyth fondled, raped and sodomized her.

She says she remembers him, dressed in white priest's robes, at the back sliding glass door of her bedroom.

"All I wanted to do was to escape, to fly away. There were little cubbies in my room - a twin bed with a headboard that had little cubbies," she remembers. "I just wanted to be tiny enough to hide in those little cubbies so he couldn't see me."

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