The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
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Victim of Sexual Abuse Speaks Out
Accused Ex-Priest Suspended Yesterday
He Urges Others Who Have Been Hurt To Come Forward
A Maine man who says he was sexually abused by a Florida school administrator and former Catholic priest is encouraging other victims to come forward and is urging the accused molester to tell the truth.
The accused priest is Joseph Gilpin, an assistant principal at Haile Middle School in Bradenton, FL. Gilpin was placed on paid leave yesterday after leaders of SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) notified the school district about abuse allegations against him.
Gilpin, as a Catholic seminarian, was sued in 2001 for molesting a boy in Massachusetts from 1965-1968.
Late last week, a Maine man told SNAP leaders that he, too, was molested by the same Joseph Gilpin from roughly 1968-1970, beginning when he was a twelve year old student at St. Mary's School in Biddeford, ME. He reported his abuse by Gilpin to Diocese of Portland officials in September 2003.
The man, now in his late forties, released the following statement through SNAP:
"Even after 30 years, Gilpin remains in my mind a real danger to children. If my coming forward at this time can prevent another child from living the rest of his or her life in an emotional hell, it will have been worth it. The pain and suffering that Joseph Gilpin's friends and family are now feeling can be lessened by his simply telling the truth. I would also like to take this moment to assure other survivors of abuse that they should come forward. These perpetrators depend upon the silence of the victims, and they use it to continue their abominations on the human spirit. I consider myself fortunate that I have been storng enough to have survived, others have not been that fortunate."
Paul Kendrick of Portland, is the Co-Founder of Voice of the Faithful in Maine. He has also been in touch with the Maine abuse victim..
"For four years, Catholic officials in Boston have known of the abuse lawsuit against Gilpin. And, for at least a year and a half, Maine's bishop has known about the abuse at St. Mary's School. So, how is it possible that until yesterday, Gilpin was still teaching sixth graders?" said Kendrick. "How is it possible that these two bishops didn't take the time to find out if other kids were in danger of being molested by Gilpin?"
For a copy of the 2001 lawsuit, please call Kendrick at (207) 838-6985.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests