Fortuna woman, ex-Jehovah’s Witness shares story of sexual abuse
By Will Houston
Romy Maple says she can finally walk on the beaches near Table Bluff without fear.
For most of her life, those breaking waves were things Maple said she was taught to fear by the man who repeatedly sexually assaulted, drugged and raped her since she was a 4-year-old girl.
Maple said she was told by her assaulter that if she ever told anyone what he was doing to her, he would throw her into the waves. He pretended to many times and even pushed her into the water once, she said.
“I really thought he was going to kill me,” Maple said in an episode of the new A&E channel series “Cults and Extreme Beliefs” that aired Tuesday.
In an interview with the Times-Standard this week, Maple said both she and her assaulter were part of the same congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Fortuna. She was a fourth generation Witness on her mother’s side.
At the age of 11, Maple said she and her cousin — whom Maple said was one of the man’s several victims — decided to tell one of the Jehovah’s Witness elders about what was happening to them. The elders are men who lead the congregation.
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