Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rev. Frank Genevieve - Pedophile Boy Raping Priest Sex Offender Pleads Guilty

A Franciscan priest from New York pleaded guilty Tuesday to five counts of statutory rape of two minors from a Troy parish during trips to Boston over a 12-year period.

The Rev. Frank Genevieve, 53, who lives in a Franciscan retreat in Wappingers Falls and once worked in a Troy church, entered a guilty plea as part of an agreement just before his trial was expected to start in Suffolk Superior Court, Boston.

One of his victims, Mark Lyman of Stillwater, the co-director of the Albany chapter of SNAP (the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests), was in court and preparing to testify when Genevieve pleaded guilty.

“It is a victory. I have been vindicated,” said Lyman. “Today I go from an alleged victim to a victim. I’ve always had a problem with that word ‘alleged.’ ”

“We have stopped this cycle of violence,” said Lyman. “He will be a lifetime sex offender. Everyone will know about him and he will not be able to hurt more children.”

Genevieve was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Charles Surplock to a suspended sentence of 8 to 10 years and five years of probation.

As part of the agreement, he cannot have any contact with minors, he must attend sex offender treatment and therapy, must stay away from the victims, must wear a GPS monitoring device, submit a DNA sample and register with the sex offender registry board, according to Erika Gully-Santiago, spokeswoman for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.

Genevieve was initially arraigned in July 2006 in Suffolk Superior Court in Massachusetts on four counts of child rape and was ordered to stay away from minor children and the two victims, who were between 13 and 16 years old at the time of the incidents. The alleged assaults occurred between 1977 and 1989.

Genevieve raped Lyman and the other minor in a rectory in the North End or in Genevieve’s car in downtown Boston, according to prosecutors. Because Genevieve returned to New York after each visit to Boston, the Massachusetts statute of limitations did not expire.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany oversees St. Anthony’s of Padua in Troy, where Genevieve worked when the assaults took place. Because Genevieve was a member of the Franciscan order, he was not directly supervised by the diocese.

“Any comment would come from the Immaculate Conception Province of the Franciscans,” said the Rev. Kenneth Doyle, chancellor of the Albany Diocese. “He was not a priest of the diocese, never was, was not under supervision or control of the diocese and was not employed by us.”

The Franciscan Province of the Immaculate Conception removed Genevieve from active ministry in June 2002. Province officials could not be reached on Tuesday.

Genevieve taught at the former Christopher Columbus Catholic High School in Boston’s North End in the 1980s. He was an assistant priest at St. Margaret’s Parish in Buzzards Bay, Mass., from 1998 to 2000, according to a spokesman for the Diocese of Fall River, Mass.

Attorney John Aretakis, who sent the original complaint about Genevieve to the Suffolk County district attorney, said on Tuesday that still more needs to be done to protect children from abusive priests.

“I am unhappy that here we are six years into the pedophilia scandal and we have a priest who admits to raping children and he is not doing a day in jail,” said Aretakis.

“The Albany diocese tries to claim that because he is a Franciscan, they are not responsible,” said Aretakis. “This priest raped Albany diocese children and he worked at an Albany diocese church.”

Lyman had filed a $5 million lawsuit against Genevieve in Suffolk Superior Court. The Diocese of Albany was removed from the suit in 2006.

Lyman said he will continue working with SNAP and “could never walk away from it.

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