February 25, 2005

Schools could be liable for Gilpin

Bradenton Herald

Herald Staff Writers

MANATEE - Knowledge of sexual abuse allegations against Joseph Gilpin could make the Manatee County School District liable if other cases of abuse occurred within the past three years, attorneys said.

In February 2002, then Superintendent Dan Nolan and school district attorney Rob Shapiro were informed of a civil suit filed in Massachusetts alleging the former Haile assistant principal molested a boy while he was a Catholic seminarian in the late 1960s.

No mention of the lawsuit was placed in Gilpin's district personnel file and school board members said they weren't apprised of the situation until the allegations were made public by a national advocacy group in late January.

The fact district officials knew of the allegations dating back to 2002 could place them in a precarious legal situation, according to attorney Joe Campoli, president of the local chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Posted by kshaw at February 25, 2005 06:31 AM