May 24, 2005

One of bishop's alleged sex abuse victims urges church discipline

Telegram & Gazette

The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. A man who claims he was sexually abused by Bishop Thomas L. Dupre in the 1970s said he supports calls to defrock the former Springfield bishop, but never wanted to see Dupre go to prison.

The man, Tuan Tran, 42, made his identity public for the first time in an interview with The Republican newspaper in Springfield. Tran told the paper in Tuesday's editions that he endorsed a call by the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests for the Vatican to defrock the bishop.

"I wish the church dealt with this more honestly," Tran said. "They seemed to have ignored the whole thing."

Still, Tran told the newspaper that he had mixed feelings about Dupre, with whom he maintained a decades-long friendship after the alleged abuse ended.

Tran said he had cooperated with the criminal investigation of Dupre. But he also said he wasn't disappointed when Hampden District Attorney William Bennett decided in September against pursuing charges because the statute of limitations had expired. Bennett's decision came hours after a grand jury indicted Dupre on two counts of child rape.

"I didn't want to see him go to jail," Tran told the newspaper.

The second alleged victim, who was introduced to Dupre by Tran, declined to comment, citing a pending lawsuit filed by the two men against Dupre and the Springfield Diocese is pending.

Posted by kshaw at May 24, 2005 07:32 AM