January 29, 2005

Pastor resigns amid sex solicitation allegation

Lynn Daily Item

By Debra Glidden
Saturday, January 29, 2005

SWAMPSCOTT -- The pastor of St. John The Evangelist Church resigned on Friday after being accused earlier in the week of asking a 12-year-old girl and her mother to perform a sex act for money.

The Rev. Jerome Gillespie, 55, who was formerly the pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Lynn, is accused of propositioning the girl and her mother Tuesday evening at Floramos Lounge, an Italian restaurant in Chelsea.

David Procopio, a spokesman for the Suffolk District Attorney's Office, said Gillespie would be summoned to Chelsea District Court to answer charges of child enticement, soliciting sex for a fee and annoying and accosting a person of the opposite sex.

The Archdiocese of Boston, in a statement released late Friday afternoon, said, "In light of the criminal investigation launched earlier this week, Father Gillespie has resigned as pastor of St. John The Evangelist Church. Fr. Gillespie offered his resignation to Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley, who earlier today granted his request."

The statement continues: "Fr. Gillespie's resignation was accepted in the interest of all parties involved and does not represent any indication of Fr. Gillespie's guilt or innocence as it pertains to this allegation."

Posted by kshaw at January 29, 2005 06:47 AM