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SNAP
Press Release

 

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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims

 

For immediate release:
Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2005

For more information:
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Dir. 314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP President 312 399 4747
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Outreach Director 314 862 7688

Accused Abusive Ex-Priest Now Teaches At Florida Public School

He Faced Civil Child Molestation Lawsuit In Massachusetts

A Different Alleged Victim Has Come Forward In Maine

Sex Abuse Victims Urge His Immediate Removal

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is urging a Bradenton, Florida school district to suspend a teacher who, as a Catholic seminarian, was sued for molesting a boy in Massachusetts.

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are writing the Manatee County School District expressing concern about Joseph Gilpin. Gilpin teaches sixth grade at Carlos Haile Middle School (941 714 7240).

According to a January 24, 2001 article in the Boston Globe, Gilpin was civilly sued in Suffolk Superior Court for allegedly molesting a boy at several locations, including a Catholic camp in Duxbury, MA and the boy's home in Wareham, MA between 1965 and 1968. The man who filed the suit said the crimes took place when he was between the ages of 9 and 12.

"The prudent step is to suspend him now, and then investigate thoroughly," said David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP's National Director.

Clohessy said he very recently learned of Gilpin's status from one of the ex-priest's victims. That victim recognized Gilpin's face from the school web site, though Gilpin's name and photo disappeared today from the same school website:
http://www.manatee.k12.fl.us/manatee/school_info/maps/MSPages/haile_sites.html

"This man reporting the abuse to us is very credible and he's worried that other kids are at risk now," said Clohessy.

SNAP's letter is signed by the group's founder and president, Barbara Blaine of Chicago, and its national director, David Clohessy of St. Louis.

A copy of SNAP's letter to Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Roger Dearing, sent today by e mail, is below.

SNAP, is the nation's oldest and largest support group for victims of clergy sexual abuse with support groups in over 60 cities nation wide.

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January 26, 2005

Dr. Roger Dearing
Superintendent of Schools
School District of Manatee County, Florida
215 Manatee Avenue West
Bradenton, Florida 34205

Dear Dr. Dearing,

We, the members of SNAP, (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) are troubled that a person who is alleged to have sexually abused minor children is employed as a sixth grade assistant principal in your school district.

The Boston Globe reported on January 24, 2001 that Rev. Joseph Gilpin was charged with molesting a boy at several locations, including a Catholic camp in Duxbury, MA and the boy's home in Wareham, MA between 1965 and 1968. The man who filed the suit said the the crimes took place when he was between the ages of 9 and 12. A clerk at Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston has stated that this civil lawsuit was "dismissed and settled."

Late last week, we were contacted by a man who told us that he had been sexually abused by the same Joseph Gilpin, between 1968-1970, while he was a student between the ages of twelve to fourteen at St. Mary's School in Biddeford, Maine. Gilpin invited elementary and middle school students between the ages of ten and fourteen to his beachside cottage where he served them alcohol.
.
In 2002, this man reported to the Bishop's office of the Diocese of Portland (Maine) that he had been molested by Gilpin. Church officials find him sufficiently credible that they have offered him a monetary settlement.

Recently, this man discovered that Gilpin works in the Bradenton, FL school system. The victim saw a photo of Gilpin on the Haile School web site and recognized him.

We are writing to urge you to immediately suspend Gilpin from his position, pending a more thorough investigation. The safety of children should take priority over all other considerations.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.


David Clohessy
National Director
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
7234 Arsenal St.
St. Louis, MO 63143
314 566 9790

Barbara Blaine
President
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
PO Box 6416
Chicago, IL 60680-6416
312 399 4747


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org
 


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