January 28, 2005

Assistant principal named in settlement

Bradenton Herald



Herald Staff Writers

An assistant principal at Haile Middle School was one of many defendants named in sexual molestation lawsuits filed against the Archdiocese of Boston that led to a multimillion-dollar settlement in 2003, court documents show.

Joseph Gilpin, who has been placed on paid administrative leave by the Manatee County School District, is also part of a separate, ongoing complaint filed with the Archdiocese of Portland in Maine.

As the allegations were revealed this week, local friends and coworkers have staunchly supported Gilpin, a distinguished employee of the Manatee County school system for more than 30 years.

Father Don Nicholson, a local Episcopal priest who has known Gilpin for seven or eight years, forcefully denounced the allegations.

"It's garbage," he said. "I'm angry, not at Joe, but that an unnamed accuser could make these accusations after all these years and get Joe's name splashed all over the newspaper. I think it's a defilement."

Gilpin, 60, has not responded to repeated attempts by The Herald to discuss the allegations or the district's decision to place him on leave.

Posted by kshaw at January 28, 2005 03:30 AM