Robert D. Blanpied

April 6, 2002

In 1994, the Rev. Robert D. Blanpied, who was a chaplain at Mercy Medical Center from 1979 to 1993, was dismissed from his duties by the Diocese of Pueblo after Wendell E. Gravley said Blanpied had sexually abused him 30 years earlier when Blanpied was a priest in Wichita, Kan.

Blanpied admitted in court documents to improperly fondling Gravley, who said the abuse occurred between 1965 and 1969, when he was 10 to 15 years old.The fondling stopped when Blanpied was reassigned to another parish in Wichita.

In 1969, Blanpied joined the Pueblo diocese, which covers most of Southern Colorado, including Durango. In 1997, the Kansas Court of Appeals affirmed a district court's ruling that a 1995 lawsuit filed by Gravley, who was 40 when he filed the suit, had exceeded the statute of limitations. Blanpied never faced criminal charges.

He retired from Mercy in 1993 after working there for 14 years, and he later moved to Ogden, Utah. He was honored at a dinner at St. Columba in 1998 for his 50 years in the priesthood.

Last month, a former teacher at St. Columba Catholic School was charged in Wichita for possessing child pornography.


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