Area Priest Arraigned in Boston for Abuse
By Kathryn Caggianelli
July 25, 2006
NORTH GREENBUSH - A former local Franciscan priest and La Salle Institute school chaplain was arraigned in Boston Monday on sexual abuse charges, stemming from incidents that occurred longer than two decades ago.
Rev. Frank Genevive, who now resides in Wappingers Falls, was charged with four counts of felony child rape for allegedly having sex with two local boys between 1978 and 1982.
The clock stopped on the statute of limitations because Genevive allegedly drove both boys to Boston, committed the sexual acts there and then returned with them to New York.
"Massachusetts law provides for tolling the statute of limitations. What that means is when a defendant leaves the state the clock stops on the statute of limitations," said Jake Wark, a spokesperson for the Suffolk County district attorney's office in Boston.
Genevive was charged with four felony counts of raping a child.
Civil cases in New York have a new statute of limitations clock that starts to run when an arrest is made.
Mark Lyman, 41, a Troy native and the father of four, was 13 years old at the time he claims he was first sexually abused by the priest. He came from a broken and underprivileged home and was easy prey for a sexual predator, claims his attorney John Aretakis.
"This is a good day for all victims of sexual abuse," Lyman said.
Lyman is a state inspector with the Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Service and heads up the local chapter of Survivors of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), a national organization.
The memories he says he has of being sexually abused have shaped the person he is today, he said.
"I was sexually abused repeatedly. I was photographed and videotaped," Lyman said.
Aretakis represents six local men who charge that they were sexually abused by Genevive. All of them were taken on overnight trips to Boston where they say they were raped, he said.
Prosecutors in Massachusetts listened to Lyman and an unidentified victim and decided to bring Genevive to trial. Three of the four felony counts leveled against the priest were on Lyman's behalf.
Lyman sued the Albany Diocese for $5 million in 2004 for Genevive's sexual misconduct.
Last month the Massachusetts Superior Court handed down a decision in support of the Diocese, Albany Diocese Spokesperson Ken Goldfarb said.
In that separate civil case, Christopher J. Muse, justice of the Superior Court, Suffolk County, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, wrote, in part:
"Father Genevive functioned as a priest in the Albany Diocese but he came under the control and supervision of the Franciscan Order," he said.
District attorneys in Albany and Rensselaer counties should push for a similar law that would stop the clock on statutes of limitations when victims of sexual abuse are taken out of the state, Aretakis said.
Rensselaer County DA Patricia DeAngelis said she agreed.
"I think that's a great idea, and I wish we had it in New York state. Anytime we can extend the statute for sex crime victims, it's a good thing," she said.
Victims of sex crimes are often children who are too young to understand or articulate what's happened to them. By the time they come forward, many years have passed, DeAngelis said.
An expanded DNA database and its technology that will now make it easier for prosecutors to identify assailants in cold cases further presses the point of the need for expanded statutes. And the recent enactment of a law that eliminates the statute of limitations for Class B violent felonies, including rape, is a step in the right direction, she said.
Genevive was released on his own recognizance and ordered to stay away from the alleged victims and all minor-aged children. His trial date is slated for July 2007.
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