February 04, 2005

Church suspends Gilpin as teacher

Bradenton Herald

Herald Staff Writer

MANATEE - A man accused of molesting two boys in the 1960s will not be permitted to work directly with children at Christ Episcopal Church, where he has attended services for three decades.

The Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida issued a news release Thursday afternoon that said Gilpin had been suspended from participation in a program titled "Safeguarding God's Children," designed to protect children from sexual abuse.

Joseph Gilpin, however, will remain on the church vestry, said the Rev. Kerry Robb, Bradenton's Christ Episcopal Church interim rector.

"In light of the circumstances, our bishop has said that Mr. Gilpin should not participate at that level," Robb said of Gilpin working with children. "I have not talked to Mr. Gilpin, but I am sure he agrees."

The news release said even though there is no evidence of Gilpin's guilt, the allegations were enough for the church to make the announcement. "Obviously, teachers of a program to prevent child sexual abuse must be above reproach on this issue, and so allegations involving Mr. Gilpin's conduct with youth that have recently come to our attention are disturbing. While we recognize that Mr. Gilpin has not admitted wrongdoing, the allegations alone have severely damaged his credibility as a trainer," the news release said.

Posted by kshaw at February 4, 2005 05:07 AM