Dennis Dembrosky Case:
The most unusual, and the most serious, of these types of cases in my life involved a man named Dennis Dembrosky.
When I was in 6th grade, 11 or 12 years old, Dembrosky was a Children's Church leader or assistant. Other types of churches would refer to him as a Sunday School teacher.
This was at Faith BC. I was still at 1st Easton at the time, so I didn't have direct interactions with him.
One of my friends told me that Dembrosky had raped him. I didn't quite believe my friend and dismissed the story. However, about 3 years later, things broke wide open.
It appears Dembrosky had sex with multiple boys. In 1995, he was arrested for one rape, tried, convicted, and sent to prison for about 7 years. He was age 39 at the time.
Responsibility in the Dembrosky case:
The Church hierarchy should have moved faster in this case.
People are said to have noticed and reported incidents that were grounds for investigation.
My friend Dustin's father was one of them. He felt that the Church was ignoring his reports. In the end, he settled for warning Dustin to stay away from Dembrosky.
In an odd note, boys were reportedly observed getting out of Dembrosky's van after what may have been Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind. If this part is true, Dembrosky operated in an unusually public manner. It's surprising that things didn't come to a head sooner.
Regardless, there was no intentional cover-up. Dembrosky seems to be a case similar to John Longaker's, though more serious.
I think that, in all of these cases, there's a common thread related to reluctance to believe things. It's only in the Eric Romig case, most likely, that this crossed the line to something approaching an actual cover-up.
Room to rent:
The strangest part of the Dembrosky case was still to come. In one sentence, I ended up as Dembrosky's roommate and it didn't go well.
After Dembrosky was released from prison, he persuaded me to rent a room from him.
In retrospect, it wasn't a bright idea to move in with Dembrosky. I can only say that it seemed to make sense at the time.
I was distracted and distressed due to an initial breakup with Chameleon. I went back to her later. And Dembrosky was always charismatic and convincing. He was like Ray in this regard. I, for my part, was somewhat naive.
I stayed with Dembrosky from September 2003 to March 2004. This was in Silverdale, PA. I was about 21 years old.
Dembrosky told me various stories related to his sexual encounters. He claimed to have been a success at discos when he was in his 20s.
One woman, Dembrosky said, told him, “If you're in bed like you are on the dance floor, I want to have you tonight.”
“And she did,” he added, laughing.
The disco stories were probably true because he lost a job later on due to sexual escapades.
Dembrosky was the chef at a family restaurant named, not too surprisingly, “Dembrosky's”. He did the waitresses continuously. I don't know if it was on the tables or what, but, knowing him, it's possible.
Eventually, he confessed these goings-on to his parents. They fired him and shut down the restaurant. Dembrosky took on a job Faith BC after that and promptly proceeded to get on top of boys there.
It's possible that Dembrosky made up the stories related to women to cover up other inclinations. However, it appears that a restaurant named “Dembrosky's” did exist decades ago in Silverdale, which is where Dembrosky lived.
A friend of mine said that Dembrosky might be a pan-sexual, somebody who'd do a cow if he was in the “mooo-d”. I don't know. But most people would agree that he wasn't the ideal Sunday School teacher.
Tell me when you take the pill:
My stay with Dembrosky was uneventful for a while. Then things started to get odd.
Dembrosky wrestled me once or twice without permission, giggling as he did so. I managed to get him off of me.
I often stayed up late to play Warcraft III and code maps for the game. One night, Dembrosky commented that I looked tired. He offered me sleeping pills.
I said I just needed to actually go to bed. He replied, the pills would help me if I took them when I wanted to start winding down.
He told me where they were. He said I could take one anytime as long as I told him when I did so.
“You don't have to pay me for the pills. Just let me know when you take one.”
Um, sure. There's nothing odd here. It's perfectly normal that you're interested in knowing exactly when unspecified chemicals will knock me out.
One night, I took a pill. Other nights, too. But, one time, I dreamed that he was holding my dick. I had suspicions afterwards that it wasn't a dream.
I remember struggling to move away but could only turn. I was too tired to get away.
Dembrosky's moves in the daytime were becoming more familiar at this time. He'd rub my shoulders, then he started to rub my chest. I told him not to do it anymore, but it continued.
The “dream” and the pills were on my mind, but I didn't mention them.
The end came when we talked about what my friend had told me in 6th grade; i.e., that Dembrosky had raped him.
Dembrosky denied that this had happened. He added that the 1995 incident that he'd been convicted of hadn't happened either. If I remember correctly, he said, “I was staying at his parents' house and woke up and found him in my arms”.
If that's what Dembrosky said, it wasn't true. A newspaper account from 1995 says that the activity took place at Dembrosky's own house.
More importantly, I now believed my 6th-grade friend's account from circa 1992. This meant that Dembrosky was lying to me or, if he believed what he was saying, he was disassociated from reality and possibly dangerous.
I stayed up all night and packed my car with my things and never went back. My dad got the things that I missed.
In the morning, right before I left, Dembrosky pled with me, crying, to stay. He said, “Can't we pray about this?” However, an unambiguous tipping point had been reached.
The uninvited physical contact, the pills and the “dream”, and finally the inability to speak the truth and to come to terms with it, added up to GTFO.
Though, arguably, I should have known better than to go this far to save rent to begin with.
I told my dad. He seemed to think there was nothing much to do but was O.K. with me filing a police report, so I did that.
I felt that at least this behavior should be on record as supporting evidence in case Dembrosky did something more serious again.
Feelings about the Dembrosky case:
I've already said that the Church bears some responsibility for what Dembrosky was able to do in the 1990s. I mean, he interviewed boys right in the parking lot, it appears, for at least 3 years.
Regarding my experience with Dembrosky in the 2000s, I'd like more people to understand that the manipulators are out there. They look for people who are distracted, tired, or frightened, and they take whatever they want from them.
In Dembrosky's case, he didn't even need me. He could have talked a random 21-year-old man who was so inclined into bed no problem. But his behavior when I left suggested that he'd formed an emotional attachment. So, it wasn't solely about proving that he could take what he wanted.
The important part isn't that we fully understand Dembrosky. It's that we be able to recognize manipulative and/or abusive people.
I need to be clear that my brother is nothing at all like Dembrosky in general.
It's possible, though, that I resent manipulative people and that that's a thread which runs through my associations with Ray, Chameleon, and Dembrosky.
These people are all manipulative. But obviously there are orders of magnitude to think about.