Former Priest Did Not Commit Abuse in Ithaca

By Dan Higgins
Ithaca Journal (Ithaca, NY)
June 27, 2002

A Seneca Falls priest placed on administrative leave this week following allegations of sexual misconduct spent five years in Ithaca, but the alleged abuse didn't happen here.

The Rev. David N. Gramkee, 62, took his first assignment following his 1966 ordination at Ithaca's Immaculate Conception Church. He left in 1971.

His last assignment was as pastor of St. Patrick Church in Seneca Falls.

Gramkee is accused of sexually abusing a girl in her late teens in one incident that took place in 1979. Michael Tedesco a spokesman for the Rochester Diocese, wouldn't say where the abuse took place, "but it wasn't in Ithaca," he said.

Gramkee was associate pastor of St. Louis Church in Pittsford from 1975 until 1979, when he was named chaplain of Elmira Correctional Facility.

Since 1992, he has been pastor of St. Patrick Church in Seneca Falls.

In a statement to parishioners this week, Gramkee referred to "an allegation of clerical misconduct in 1980 with a young woman."

Tedesco said Gramkee was referring to the same incident, but there is a discrepancy between Gramkee and the alleged victim about the year the alleged incident took place.

No one employed by the Immaculate Conception parish today ever worked with Gramkee, according to a 27-year employee of the parish who asked that her name not be used.

Gramkee's fate will be decided by a panel of lay people. In the meantime, he cannot wear ecclesiastical clothing, perform any of a priest's duties, or live at the parish or on any diocesan property.

Gramkee is the eighth area priest since April to be suspended or removed from ministry.


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