Spencerport Woman Who Says Priest Abused Her As a Child Tells Her Story
By Meaghan M. McDermott and Sean Lahman
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
June 14, 2018
|Carol DuPre, Spencerport, a victim of priest abuse as a teenager, supported by Mitchell Garabedian, Boston attorney who has represented over 3000 victims of clergy abuse, talks to the media about her coming forward outside the Diocese of Rochester on Flower City Park in Rochester Thursday, June 14, 2018. Garabedian is holding up a copy of DuPreu's book on her abuse, called Broken. At right is Robert Hoatson, former priest and founder of Road to Recovery, a victimOs support organization,|
A Spencerport woman who has accused a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester of sexual abuse shared her story Thursday morning on the steps of Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Carol DuPre is one of a group of accusers who say they were sexually abused by Rochester area priests when they were children. Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston attorney who has spent decades representing such victims, last week named eight priests from the diocese who 15 men and two women say abused them between 1950 and 1978.
DuPre said she was molested by Father G. Stuart Hogan when she was 15 and 16 years old in 1962 and 1963.
"It started after mass one Sunday when he asked me to go back to the rectory to help count the offering," she said. "It put me in a precarious position where he began the molestation, and that's all I want to talk about as far as details."
Hogan served at Sacred Heart Cathedral from 1924 to 1931 and then at a succession of churches outside of Monroe County, including St. James Church in Waverly, one of the four churches that make up Blessed Trinity and St. Patrick’s parish in Tioga County, from 1951 to 1961. He retired from St. Gregory Church in Marion in 1965 and died in 1985.
Garabedian said the allegations against Hogan concern his time at St. Gregory.
"We'd like to know why he retired in 1965," Garabedian said. "Is it because he really retired or was that because, as we've seen, retired can be code for sexual abuse?"
He renewed his call for the Diocese to release its records and provide a full accounting of what complaints were received, who knew about them and what action church officials took.
"Why won't the church release the documents concerning Father Hogan and every other priest that has been named as a pedophile, a sexual abuser," Garabedian asked. "It's time for the Diocese of Rochester to help victims heal with transparency and honesty."
'He was four times my age'
DuPre, who is now 71, said the abuse traumatized her, and her efforts to report it went nowhere.
"I was an innocent kid, and when I finally had the nerve to tell my mother she was shocked," DuPre said.
She said her mother wrote letters and called the Diocese but was ignored.
A few years ago, DuPre said, a friend of hers told her she had also been molested by Father Hogan during the same time period.
She said she contacted the Diocese shortly thereafter and was told there was no record of any complaints made against Hogan.
Carol1.jpg Carol DuPre, Spencerport, a victim of priest abuse as a teenager, supported by Mitchell Garabedian, Boston attorney who has represented over 3000 victims of clergy abuse, talks to the media about her coming forward outside the Diocese of Rochester on Flower City Park in Rochester Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo: SHAWN DOWD/@sdowdphoto/, SHAWN DOWD/@sdowdphoto/staff)
DuPre, who is now 71, said the abuse had a huge effect on her life.
"It really messed up my image of who God is on the Earth. We were told that Catholic priests were like God in the flesh," she said. "I have struggled my whole life to identify with a good and loving God. By coming out and talking about this i hope it will help with the healing."
DuPre, now a born-again Christian, touched on the abuse in her self-published 2013 memoir, Broken: A Pastor's Wife Shares Her Story.
"The parish priest always made some sort of physical connection with me every week that began with innocent and gentle touches and culminated in sloppy, wet kisses," she recounted in the book's first chapter. "He was more than four times my age. What happened in that nicely furnished parlor never made its way to the surface of my thoughts until years later, when Catholic priests and all their dirty, little deeds were the headlines of every newspaper in America. I had only wanted extra money to buy a coke and a donut."
DuPre said coming forward with her accusations has been cathartic and encouraged other victims to come forward not only in the interest of justice, but also so they can heal.
"I know there's other people and I'm a firm believer that when you confess it and release it, there's hope for healing," she said.
Accusers come forward
Last week, Garabedian said he represented 17 accusers who said they were sexually abused as children by priests from the Rochester diocese. On Thursday, he said 16 additional accusers have come forward.
He said the new accusers have named some priests whose identities have already been made public, and some others whose names have not.
He said his team is investigating the claims.
Garabedian has called on the Diocese of Rochester to release any records it may hold concerning allegations of sexual abuse of children. He said the victims he represents came forward within the past six months and are now between the ages of 52 and 77.
The Diocese of Rochester said last week that it has been in talks with Garabedian's law firm regarding the accused priests and "has invited participation in a process of investigation and resolution," but has "had little or no response."
On Thursday, diocesan spokesman Doug Mandelaro said the Diocese welcomes Garabedian's participation in its process on DuPre's behalf.
Three of the accused priests named by Garabedian had been publicly identified in the past. Allegations of misconduct by Eugene Emo, David P. Simon and Francis H. Vogt were reported by the local press and the accusations were acknowledged by the diocese. Emo and Simon were removed from their ministry and Vogt has since died.
But allegations against five of the priests accused last Wednesday had not been previously reported. In addition to Hogan, accusations were made against Thomas J. Valenti, Gary P. Shaw, Richard J. Orlando and Charles J. McCarthy.
In its statement last week, the diocese said an allegation against Valenti "was investigated, reviewed and determined to be unsubstantiated."
But following the new allegations, Valenti — who was serving as the parochial administrator of Blessed Trinity and St. Patrick churches in Owego — requested "to be relieved of his pastoral duties at this time in order to address this matter, Mandalero told Pressconnects.com.
Valenti served at Blessed Sacrament in Rochester from 1978-1980 and at St Louis in Pittsford from 1984-1989.
Garabedian said allegations of abuse against Valenti began when he was a deacon and continued after he became a priest at St. Mary of the Lake Parish in Ontario, Wayne County, in 1976.
He also called for Valenti to resign.
Shaw began his ministry at St. John the Evangelist Church in Clyde, Wayne County, in 1973. Garabedian said allegations against him concern his time at St. Margaret Mary in Irondequoit, where he served from 1974-1977.
According to the diocese, Shaw resigned from the ministry in 1977.
Orlando served at a series of churches in Rochester, including St. Francis Xavier, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, St. Anthony of Padua and Holy Rosary as well as St. Helen Church in Gates. He retired from St. Michael in Lyons, Wayne County, in 1993 and died in 2006.
McCarthy was an assistant at St. Bridget and Holy Rosary parishes from 1947 to 1960. He was serving at St. Andrew on Portland Avenue when he died in 1971. Garabedian said it was while McCarthy was at St. Andrew that he allegedly abused a child.
Garabedian rose to prominence representing survivors of sexual abuse by priests in Boston in the 1990s and 2000s. He was portrayed by actor Stanley Tucci in the Oscar-winning film Spotlight, which chronicled the case. To date, his firm has represented more than 1,000 victims and survivors of clergy sexual abuse.
He has recently worked with people in Syracuse and Buffalo who made similar allegations there.
$1.6 million to date
The Diocese of Rochester has paid more than $1.6 million to date in compensation to at least 20 people who say they had been abused as children by two dozen priests in the diocese since 1950.
In response to Garabedian's announcement the diocese said it has retained Robert J. Lunn, a retired State Supreme Court justice, to oversee cases and make an independent determination.
"Justice Lunn will review all required documentation relating to the claim, evaluate the merits on a case-by-case basis and make a final decision regarding appropriate compensation for the victim, Bishop Salvatore Matano said in a written statement. "The Diocese has agreed to accept his determination without appeal."
Matano also said "I again wish to re-state to the victims and all the faithful my deep sorrow, regret and empathy for those who have suffered so grievously the sin of sexual abuse. I continue to offer fervent prayers for those who have been hurt and betrayed, and I ask all the faithful to join with me in these prayers."
The diocese also said it encourages victims of clergy sexual abuse to contact civil authorities.
The diocese maintains a list on its website of priests who had been the subject of credible allegations since 2002. The list was posted in June of 2012 and was last updated in April.