sexual assault

Netflix’s New Show The Keepers Prompted Police to Create an Easier Way to Report Sexual Assault

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

After the premiere last Friday of Netflix’s true-crime series The Keepers, the Baltimore Police Department created an online form for sexual-assault survivors to report abuse related to the documentary.

The Netflix series investigates the murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik, a 26-year-old nun who went missing in Baltimore in 1969. The film suggests that Cesnik was killed because she planned to expose rampant sexual abuse at Archbishop Keough High School, a Catholic all-girls school where Cesnik taught. In the documentary, six people claim they were sexually abused by Father A. Joseph Maskell, a priest who worked at the school as a chaplain and guidance counselor in the 1960s and ‘70s. Maskell died in 2001.

“People have since come forward [after] watching this documentary,” a police spokesman told the Baltimore Sun. He declined to share how many people called, but said each person claimed “they were victims of sex offenses that went unreported back then.” The spokesman explained the new online form is meant to inform detectives and make it easier for survivors to share their stories.

Since 2011, 16 people have reportedly received $472,000 in legal settlements from the Archdiocese of Baltimore after claiming Maskell abused them. The Keepers director Ryan White told TheWrap that he knows of at least 40 people who claim to be victims.

The Baltimore Police Department’s form is online here. The Keepers also created a website with resources for survivors here.

The Keepers Prompted an Easier Way to Report Sexual Assault