See Part 1 of this Story
The Legion of Christ's Seminary is in Cheshire, but is also has a other facilities around New England including a boarding school for boys who are on the path to becoming priests. It's there that our story begins.
"I joined when I was 11. It was a good education, but the impact it had was trying to make me mature faster than was possible," says Beckley.
Jacob Beckley says he left the Cheshire Seminary angry and lost five years later, at age 16. Two years after, he claims , he was abused by a Legion priest at facility run by the order outside Connecticut.
"In what way?" asks Alan Cohn.
"Sexually," says Beckley.
Beckley is 24, and did not want to go into details about what happened on camera. He did tell us how his experience in the Legion affected him.
"I've seen a lot of psychologists and psychiatrists about this issue and about dealing with this specific problem in my life," says Beckley.
When we asked about Beckley's allegations, the Legion's Father Owen Kearns said they have just learned of of them.
"What response does the Father have to these allegations?" asks Alan Cohn.
"The Father has denied them categorically. He has never abused anybody. And he welcomes any investigation and he's willing to do what ever it is so the facts will be known. And he is really sorry for Jacob. He is praying for him," says Father Kearns.
Father Kearns said the Legion has started it's own investigation, and has removed the alleged abuser from his position. The Legion has informed authorities of the allegations and prosecutors tell us a criminal probe is underway. For that reason, we've agreed not to name the priest.
No other former Legionaries we talked to say they were sexually molested, but their stories detail other forms of abusive treatment.
This former Legion member doesn't want to be identified on camera. But listen to what he says took place during confession while in Dublin, Ireland in 1982.
"I went to confession to him and as my penance I was to go to my room, strip naked and to kneel and wait on my kneeler for him to come. I couldn't removed my under pants and I just waited there, striped to my jocks. Then the priest came in and I says 'do I have to strip the whole way?' and I was about to and he said that's okay. After a minute of standing there looking at me he said you can get dressed now. I think it was a rather unusual and extreme penance," the former member told News Channel 8.
The priest, he says, was assigned at one point to the seminary in Cheshire.
"I feel ashamed. I feel, gee, I should have said no," says the former member.
In a statement, the priest, says he "always treated each seminarian" "with dignity and respect." And says he "never" required "any seminarian to disrobe as penance."
"I've never encountered harshness in the Legion. What I encountered was understanding and compassion," says Father Owen Kearns.
The Legion points out none of these men ever reported the alleged abuse to their superiors or filed complaints until now.
"Did it ever occur to you to report what was happening to the Archdiocese of Hartford," asks Alan Cohn.
"How, how? You have to get permission to make a phone call. What am I going to do, tell them I'm going to call the Archbishop's office and my superior is going to tell me yes. That's not going to happen," says Todd Carpunky.
We asked Dick Poletunow, a counseling psychologist in Connecticut, to talk to these men and give us his perspective.
"When you experience that day in and day out for weeks, for months, for years in the case of some of these folks, there's no where to go. There's no where to turn," says Poletunow.
But Legion officials deny any allegations of abuse. They say they don't understand why the men we spoke to have come forward with their stories now.
"You're trying to get me to go inside their minds and their hearts. How can I do that? I don't know what's in there. I'm sorry for what's in there. The Legionaries are not in the business of making people unhappy. It grieves us that anybody would suffer like that," says Father Kearns.
Jacob Beckley says he is trying to get on with the rest of his life. Trying to recover from his experience with the Legionaries of Christ.
"Ninety percent of my life is ruled by the guilt that I have from the Legion. That's the way they made me up until the present time," says Beckley.
After our first story last night, the Legionaries wrote an official response which continues to deny all of the allegations made by the former members we spoke with for this report.
But the four men we spoke with for this story say they stand by what they said.
The Legion of Christ has issued an official response to News Channel 8 about this report.