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Albany Roman Catholic Diocese Accused of More Sexual Abuse

May 7, 2003 | Four more catholic priests are being accused of sexual abuse in a civil lawsuit being filed by Attorney John Aretakis against the Roman Catholic Diocese today. In the lawsuit the plaintiff, a 42-year-old Schenectady man identified only as "John Doe number four," claims that he was sexually abused when he was a teenager and, "passed around" in his words, by the four priests back in the late 1970's.

The four priests accused in the suit are Father Alan Jupin of Latham, whom he says he came to know at Saint John the Baptist Church in Schenectady.

Father Louis Douglas, formerly of Saint Catherine of Siena in Albany, now said to be working at churches in Wilmington, Delaware, semi-retired.

Father Neil Cawlings, a priest from England said to be visiting Father Jupin, and Father Donald Ophals of Saint Francis de Sales Church in Troy.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiff claims the priests would feed him alcohol, and then sexually abuse him while he was still an adolescent.

Attorney John Aretakis, the same attorney who has been peppering the Albany Diocese with allegations from alleged victims, held a press conference this afternoon for the media, in which he said, "there were excessive amounts of gin being provided." Aretakis went on to say the alleged victim claims the priests got him liquored up, and made sexual overtures and caresses.

In the case of Father Jupin, Pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Church in Schenectady, the allegation is more serious. Aretakis says Jupin performed what amounts to "date rape" on the boy. The latest alleged victim further claims that Father Jupin contacted him last year, and again in February of this year, and tried to convince him not to sue.

NEWS10 tried to contact Father Jupin at Our Lady of Fatima, but a woman said he was not there and hung up the phone when NEWS10's John McLoughlin identified himself.

Father Kenneth Doyle, the Diocesan Chancellor, says the problem is these are anonymous charges. Father Doyle acknowledges that one of the four priests is currently under investigation for an unrelated allegation, involving a claim of sexual abuse of a minor.

Father Doyle succeeded Father Louis Douglas as Pastor of Saint Catherine of Siena in Albany. Father Doyle said Father Douglas has been cleared twice on same allegations of sexual misconduct with minors.

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