|Sex Abuse Victim Takes Solace in Guilty Plea from Ex-Troy Priest
By Tom Caprood
July 23, 2008
A former Troy Franciscan priest that used to work in Troy pleaded guilty in a Massachusetts court to raping three teenage boys during overnight trips to Boston in the 1970s and 1980s.
The Rev. Frank Genevieve, 52, a former associate pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church, at the corner of Third Avenue and State Street, and a former teacher at La Salle Institute, was sentenced by Suffolk Superior Court Judge Charles Spurlock to a suspended sentence of eight to 10 years in prison, with five years probation.
Genevieve was also ordered to have no contact with the victims or any minors, to register as a sex offender and wear a GPS device to monitor his whereabouts.
Mark Lyman, of Stillwater, who was abused by Genevieve at the age of 14, serves as an activist for local abuse victims as the upstate coordinator for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).
Now 44, Lyman said he would have personally liked to see Genevieve put behind bars but was pleased that the plea deal, which he and other victims agreed to, would at least prevent other children from becoming exposed to his nature.
"I think the guilty plea was appropriate because it is an admission of guilt, which is something that we haven't been able to obtain for years," said Lyman. "Now we are vindicated and are no longer 'alleged' victims - people are now realizing that we have been telling the truth."
Lyman was especially in favor of the fact that Genevieve will now have to wear a GPS tracking monitor to ensure that authorities are aware if he violates his parole by approaching a school or other prohibited areas.
"He not only preyed upon me and on the other men in the court room, but we believe dozens of others as well," said Lyman. "We felt that by making this decision we would be helping to stop his cycle of abuse."
According to Lyman, Genevieve began to sexually abuse him at St. Anthony's about seven months after he started coming to the church as a young teenager. Eventually it led to trips to Boston where the priest would abuse him, video tape him, and photograph him at a Franciscan friary across from the Christopher Columbus High School in the city's North End.
Genevieve was accused of attacking another teen in 1981 in the back room of a church during an overnight trip to Boston to celebrate the boy's confirmation. The third victim, prosecutors said, was attacked in Genevieve's car after a day trip to the New England Aquarium.
"We're grateful that these three victims disclosed their abuse to us, we recognize their bravery and that they were willing to testify, had it been necessary," Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said in a statement.
Genevieve was indicted by a Suffolk County Grand Jury in 2006. Prosecutors said that because Genevieve returned to New York after each visit to Boston, the Massachusetts statute of limitations did not expire.
Lyman's attorney, John Aretakis, said that he personally couldn't believe that a priest who raped multiple children was not going to prison, and was insulted by the fact that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany said it did not supervise the priest because he was a member of the Franciscan order.
"With his Franciscan order in New York City, does Bishop Hubbard really believe that he's being supervised on a day to day basis," asked Aretakis, who noted that St Anthony's of Padua is part of the diocese. "It is ludicrous and insulting that they continue to say that they're not responsible for his actions."
Genevieve had ties to Massachusetts as a former teacher at Christopher Columbus High School in Boston. He also served as an assistant priest at a Cape Cod parish from 1998 to 2000.
The Franciscan Province of the Immaculate Conception, which oversees Franciscans, said previously that Genevieve was removed from active ministry in June 2002.
One thing Lyman said he still had not been able to come to terms with was his religion.
"I have not been able to find my faith because it was stolen from me," said Lyman. "I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to step inside another church."
Tom Caprood can be reached at 270-1278 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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