Local Man Accuses Retired Priests of Sexual Abuse

March 26, 2011

[with video]

34-year-old Michael DeSantis described the alleged sexual abuse in Friday's Times Union newspaper, saying that between 1986 and 1991, he was fondled or raped by four Catholic priests.

In the article, DeSantis said he was an alter boy at the former Our Lady Of Mercy church in Colonie, and that Pastor Alan Jupin committed most of the abuse at his apartment at the Towers of Colonie on Sand Creek Road.

"I was used as pretty much like a child sex slave," DeSantis was quoted in the newspaper, saying the molestation started as early as age nine.

DeSantis said the traumatic memories came back to him last year, and that he has suffered from insomnia and depression.

He brought his case to the Albany Diocese, which has started an investigation, placing now 73 year old Father Alan Jupin, 77 year old Father Donald Ophals and 82 year old Louis Douglas on administrative leave. Prior to this Jupin and Ophals had remained active in the ministry. A fourth priest accused by DeSantis, John Bertolucci was removed from ministry in 2002 over a different abuse case.

Mike DeSantis did not return our calls, but his mother Mary DeSantis, did speak to us by phone saying,

"The article appearing in today's TU stands for itself. As Michael's parents, we stand now and always besides our son. As Mike's mother, this is a highly emotional time, not just for me, for our entire family.

We ask you to respect our privacy."

Diocese spokesperson Ken Goldfarb said he can't comment on a specific case under investigation, but "...anyone who's been victimized as a minor by sexual abuse no doubt has had a traumatic experience."


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.