Annie Phillips 0

End Sexual Abuse Cover Up At Sacred Hearts Academy

13 people have signed this petition. Add your name now!
Annie Phillips 0 Comments
13 people have signed. Add your voice!
Maxine K. signed just now
Adam B. signed just now


My name is Ann Phillips (maiden name Truong), Alumni of Sacred Hearts Academy 1989-1992. This is my personal statement of my own horrible personal experience with the Betty White, Head of School and Campus Ministry.

In 1991, my sister Theresa, a Class of 1991 SHA alum, was a favored student of the Campus Ministry at Sacred Hearts Academy. During that year, my sister and I were both diagnosed with PTSD due to extreme, repeated physical, sexual, and emotional abuse from household family members. We were both hospitalized at Castle Hospital for this. Sr. Katherine Francis Miller and Sr. Irene Barboza visited Theresa at the hospital at which time they found out about our sexual abuse. My sister refused to speak with our mother while she was in the hospital and did not want to go back to home. Both Sr. Katherine Francis and Sr. Irene Barboza had a meeting with our mother on how they could help. Due to the fact that these predators who preyed on us were household members, my mother did not want to press charges, ultimately protecting those that abused us. She then begged the Sisters to “foster” us into Regina Pacis by paying for us to stay with them. No one called authorities on our behalf.

I was a MINOR at the time. I had and still have no idea what type of agreement my mother and the Sisters of SHA had for my sister and I, but somehow we lived at Regina Pacis for over a year. Theresa and I were referred to a psychiatrist through Castle Hospital for our PTSD who offered his services to our mother for us “free of charge”. My mother agreed. No one recognized the “red flags”. For months Theresa and I were groomed by this psychiatrist to be his victims. He took us out for meals, offered to buy us a car and he wanted us to call him “Dad” and stay at his home with him and his wife. We thought it would be safe because he had a wife.

On December 31st 1991, Theresa, then 18 and I 17, were invited to the Dr’s. home for the New Year’s holiday with he and his wife. His wife went to bed early before midnight. He sat between my sister and I on his porch where he started groping our breasts (one hand on my breast, one on Theresa’s breast). This groping was UNINVITED AND UNWANTED! My sister stood up and walked away into the guest cottage and locked herself in the bathroom. I was left alone with the Dr. on the porch. He then stuck his tongue into my mouth for a few minutes. My defense as a sex assault victim since I was young was dissociation. Dissociation is a disconnection between a person’s thoughts, memories, feelings, actions, or sense of who he or she is. It is common in repeated sexual abuse victims like myself. I completely blacked out after he forced his tongue into my mouth and was unable to recall what happened next.

The next thing I remembered was waking up around 2:30 am, January 1st 1992 bewildered and in shock. I knocked on the bathroom door that Theresa was in and asked her if he did that to her too, and should whether we should call the police. She just wanted to go her boyfriend’s house at the time. We each called someone to pick us up immediately.
On that same day, following the events that had transpired, Theresa called Sr. Irene Barboza and Sr. Katherine Francis Miller to tell them how we were sexually assaulted by the doctor. The Sisters then called Betty White to inform her of what happened. Again, no one called authorities. Betty White then took the reigns on the legal aspects due to the fact that her husband was an attorney, Mr. Emmet White. I had no choice in the matter. Again, I was a minor at the time and was in the custody of Sacred Hearts Academy. I was forced to listen to the adult professionals regarding my care. Mr. White talked me out of a trial, my sister was an adult at the time of the incident and she wanted a settlement. I wanted a trial. I wanted to protect future women patients yet no one listened to me. My plea’s went unheard.

Now I am an adult, a woman with a voice, a survivor and a mother to a beautiful daughter. My recent therapy sessions and current news of another well known private school sexual abuse scandal, has led me to come forward with my own story of betrayal. These adult professionals were caring for me and my sister, and no one called authorities. Betty White, Emmet White and Sacred Hearts Academy must be held responsible for their lack of care and integrity. My story is but ONE story. It comes with legal documents and witnesses to prove the experiences I had. There are others out here with stories of their own involving Sacred Hearts Academy administration, namely Betty White, whom have kept quiet of past predatory offenders of the school most infamously William Plourde.
A number of students were inappropriately molested and harassed by this teacher for years prior to Plourdes documented arrest, many of whom are still mortified and unwilling to come forward. Their voices were hushed after initially coming forward to administration. Teachers were well aware, students were well aware and Betty White was well aware. This must come to an end!
I am petitioning that Betty White be removed immediately as Head of School of Sacred Hearts Academy ! She is ultimately responsible for the safety of the students. She failed to protect all of us in the past and again now with the DiLello case. How many times does this need to happen? Someone must be made accountable and that someone is her.


Ann Phillips (Truong ‘89-‘92)

Share for Success