While one would hope that religious leaders act morally consistent with the values they preach, countless examples of priests sexually assaulting children have unfortunately proven otherwise. While the offenders are most frequently male, that does not exclude women of the church from being criminals as well.
Most recently, a nun from Missouri traveling internationally was caught with nearly two pounds of cocaine hidden in her shoes and other belongings. Upon the holy woman being discovered for her crimes, she claimed that she was unaware of her suitcase’s contents. Even more suspicious, her defense is arguing that the nun believed to have been transporting ‘artifacts’ for a man she had been communicating with online.
Between April and August of 2017, the two reportedly exchanged “hundreds of texts” but had yet to ever meet in person.
Still, the lonely nun, expressed her devotion to her Internet lover, messaging him notes such as “Can you promise you will never leave me?” and “You are my only and first true family.”
She had reportedly previously suffered “a failed marriage and major health problems that came with crippling bills” to which she needed approximately $50,000 to pay off.
Before ever verifying the man’s identity, Woodrum proceeded with the relationship when she agreed to help him transport what she claimed to be ‘artifacts.’
Her father, Tom Rozanski, allegedly knew of the relationship, recalling about his daughter, “All of a sudden she met some she talked to. She said she was going to be doing some traveling,” he said.
On August 4, 2017, Woodrum found herself in the midst of a criminal scandal when authorities at Sydney Airport in Mascot, Australia discovered that the woman was transporting a significant amount of narcotics.
According to reports, “her bags were selected for screening” upon arriving at the airport.
Australian Border Force officers “swabbed the suitcase” and found “a substance…inside the heel of a shoe, a wallet, and buttons on clothing.”
The substance turned out to be “756 grams of pure cocaine” which Sister Woodrum claimed was not hers, that she did not know her belongings were stuffed with drugs, and that the shoes were “for her mother.”
Woodrum’s attorney, Rebecca Neil, argued that her client was unaware of the luggage’s contents and that the Internet stranger had successfully tricked the woman into being his drug mule.
“There are fraudsters out there who are relying on women who are vulnerable,” she claimed in court.
“She went on this trip thinking she was bringing artifacts for him,” her lawyer continued.
However, District Court Judge Penelope Wass did not buy the excuse.
“I am less than convinced by her explanation,” the judge said, considering the events leading up to the drug bust.
Allegedly, the nun had not just done ‘some traveling’ as her father claimed, but rather went on a string of trips which was referred to as an ‘international operation’ that lead her to “from Missouri to Texas,” Trinidad, and Tobago, all on July 18, last year.
The following day, the nun was reported to have flown to Suriname, South America. While there for several days, she allegedly communicated with someone who went by the name ‘Stacie.’ Woodrum wrote to her, “This whole trip is paid for and will get additional payment for work.”
On July 30, she reached out to the Internet stranger, Cornelius, with a suspicious message that read, “Riding in his car to get stuff; no signature needed.” Then she flew back to the U.S. later that day.
On August 2, two days before she was caught, Woodrum again texted her penpal with “a list of expenses for hotels and flights” and boarded a flight for Australia.
Upon landing at 7 a.m. on August 4, Woodrum texted Cornelius, saying, “It’s been a pleasure serving together.”
However, the nun’s adventure was far from over after airport security selected her for additional screening.
While the excessive and mysterious travel is suspicious enough, it was Woodrum’s reaction upon being caught which was later referred to as her “penny drop moment.”
Upon her bags being searched, the nun reportedly blurted out, “How much did they find in the shoe? Sorry, just talking to myself.”
Officials notified her that her belongings had “tested positive for cocaine” to which Woodrum said, “Why, how much did you find?”
Concerned at the delay, while Woodrum was being searched, Cornelius was texting her worried messages, demanding, “Are you okay? What are you doing, honey? Shuttle? In Taxi?”
Woodrum was subsequently arrested and has been detained in Australia since.
On January 31, 2018, she ultimately pled guilty for her involvement and is said to be sentenced sometime in September.
While the events leading up to the bust appear to indicate the nun’s guilt and that she knew exactly what she was doing, Woodrum’s family continues to insist that the crimes she is being accused of are not consistent with her character.
“Life took a turn,” her father said. “She has never done anything like this before, and this experience has been difficult for me to understand. I’m just hoping for the best for her.”
Of course, the story is shocking; however, it further proves that even highly regarded members of the church are still humans capable of sin.