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Vermont Catholic Church Priest & Clergy Sex Abuse List

Vermont Priest Sex Abuse List: A list of Roman Catholic Priests & Clergy members of the Vermont Diocese accused of sex abuse and/or sexual assault of minors.

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Merson Law has compiled a list of Roman Catholic Priests and Clergy members (the Vermont priest sex abuse list) accused of sexual abuse and/or sexual assault of minors. The Sexual Assault team at Merson Law specializes in Catholic Clergy and Priest Sex Abuse and Sexual Assault cases.

This information found in this list is compiled from the Database of Publicly Accused Priests and does not state or imply that individuals facing allegations are guilty of a crime or liable for civil claims. The reports contained in the database are merely allegations. The U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty.

Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements.

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Vermont Priest Sex Abuse List

Merson Law’s Vermont Priest Sex Abuse List was compiled from accounts of sexual abuse by a member of the Vermont Catholic Church network. The names in this list are only those that have been found to be credible, however it is likely that there are names missing, due to the sheer number of accounts and the historical aversion to transparency by the Catholic Church.

This list is not endorsed by the Archdiocese, which has yet to release the names of priests found guilty through its own internal investigations.

Last NameFirst NameDioceseNotes
BessetteConradBurlington, VTAccused in a lawsuit filed in 8/19. Worked in Barre, Springfield, St. Albans, Rutland, Burlington, Newport, Graniteville and Milton. Removed in 1990. Public faculties removed in 2004. Laicized in 2011. On the diocese’s list 8/22/19.
Claire(unknown)Burlington, VTNun. Accused of abuse of one girl at St. Joseph’s Orphanage between 1958-1964. Died. Judge dismissed lawsuit 1998, stating that institution can not be held responsible for acts if no evidence that they knew.
DoeJaneBurlington, VTAccused in 1993 suit filed by Joseph Barquin of repeatedly sodomizing the boy, age 3-5, in 1951-53 at St. Joseph’s Orphanage (Orphan Asylum), conducted by Montreal-based Sisters of Providence under direction of Vermont Catholic Charities. In 1996, Barquin settled for a substantial amount and over 60 other persons alleging abuse at the orphanage settled for over $300K total ($5K each). Another 14 settled in 1999. Over 100 have alleged sexual and physical abuse at the orphanage, closed in 1974.
DunnJamesBurlington, VTNamed in one 2005 civil suit. Accused of abuse. No other information found. Not in 1989 Catholic Directory. Dunn was 76 in 2006. It is believed suit is still pending in 12/08.
DussaultJoseph H.Burlington, VTSingle civil suit against Dussault was revealed in Jan. 2013. It accused him of misconduct with an altar boy from 1963 to 1967 while serving in Derby Line along the Canadian border. Dussault died 12/11/87. Suit was settled 1/13 at same time as 10 against Edward Paquette and one against Fr. Willis. Nothing else known.
FosterEdwardBurlington, VTMonsignor. Named publicly as accused by the diocese on its list 9/19/19. Died in 2000.
Gelineau (BP)Louis E.Burlington, VTAccused in 1997 of taking an 11- or 12-year-old boy at St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Burlington VT off by himself in 1951 and pulling the boy’s fly down. When the boy fled, Gelineau allegedly pursued him and tried to drown him. At the time, Gelineau was a brother at the orphanage, scene of much physical and sexual abuse. In a 1997 deposition, Gelineau stated that he remembered the boy at the orphanage. In his deposition, Gelineau also denies having any sexual contact with an altar boy in 1993.Retired 6/97.
KenneyJohn B. (Jack)Burlington, VTNamed publicly as credibly accused by the diocese in on its list in 8/19. Accused in a 2006 lawsuit of sexually abusing a teenage boy while assigned to St. Joseph’s Cathedral 1962-65. Settled. Removed from ministry in 2006. Age 91 and living in West Glover in 8/19. Named publicly as credibly accused by the diocese in on its list in 8/19. Accused in a 2006 lawsuit of sexually abusing a teenage boy while assigned to St. Joseph’s Cathedral 1962-65. Settled. Removed from ministry in 2006. Age 91 and living in West Glover in 8/19.
MaddenMichael K.Burlington, VTConvicted 1989 for lewd conduct with a boy. Authorities knew of other victims over a 20-year period. Sentenced to probation for 5 years. Violated probation at least 6 times. Ended up serving 2 years in prison. Civil trial 1994, ordered to pay victim $175K. A 2nd suit filed 2003. Madden died in 2000.
McShaneJames J.Burlington, VTBoy Scouts chaplain 1967-93. Diocesan Youth Director and Chaplain at Camp Holy Cross 1976-82. In 1975 or 1976 counselors at Camp Holy Cross found 80 slides of naked boys in McShane’s cabin. The camp director and two other men told then-Bishop John Marshall, who basically told them they were in the wrong for having been in the cabin. Placed on leave 2002. Sued. Accused of abuse of several youths, including at least one at the camp. One suit settled for $120,000 in 2004. One pending 2006. On the diocese’s list 8/22/19.
MeadBrian E.Burlington, VTFirst named publicly as accused is 10/18 by news outlet. Per church documents, in 2002 VT A.G. instructed diocese to give information about allegations 1950-2000. The diocese gave the A.G. 21 names. Mead reportedly could have been charged with multiple counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child, but the diocese did not act and the statute of limitations expired. In 1996 a man told Bishop Angell Mead sexually abused him for six years, beginning at age 11. Mead was kept in ministry. The man received a settlement with a confidentiality requirement. Mead removed 2004.
MilaneseJohnBurlington, VTMilanese placed on leave 5/02 after allegation that he abused an 8 yr old youth in mid 1980s. Alleged victim now in jail. Milanese denied the accusations and passed polygraph. Vermont’s AG declined to file criminal charges. Church investigated and returned Milanese to duty as of Oct. 28, 2002.
NicholsStephen J.Burlington, VTNichols charged 9/06 with sexually molesting a teenager. Complaint made to Diocese in 2005 and it conducted its own investigation for 4 months before telling police. Atty General’s office investigated. Nichols placed on leave. He claimed that the victim was the aggressor in the incident. Criminal trial set for 5/07 but he pleaded guilty 5/1/07 and was sentenced to 30 days jail & 2 yrs probation. Remains on leave 2/08.
Paquette, Jr.Edward O.Burlington, VTOrdained for Fall River; faculties removed 1963. Sent to treatment in IN, worked in Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese. After 7 years, was accepted into Burlington diocese; faculties removed 1978. Allegations in MA, IN and VT, including of abuse of a hospitalized male teen quadriplegic.. First VT suit settled for $965K in 4/06. Named in 3/07 suit. Jury awarded $8.7M to one plaintiff 5/08. One suit settled 7/08. Another suit tried to mistrial 8/08. Third trial 12/08 awarded $3.6M. Laicization announced 5/09. Fourth trial 10/09 awarded $2.2M. In 5/10, 19 of 26 cases settled alleged abuse by Paquette. Three on appeal also settled. Living in Westfield MA in Springfield diocese at the time. Four more suits filed 2010. Eleven settled 1/13. On Ft. Wayne-South Bend IN diocese’s 9/18/18 list. Seven known credible allegations. Suit filed 8/19.
PaulinGeorge A.Burlington, VTSued 2002. Accused of abuse of a teenager in the1980s. Settlement in 2003. Another suit filed 9/04. Resigned as pastor in 2003; later found playing organ for two other churches. Diocese admitted 8/06 that it found 27 years’ worth of files on Paulin, which the church had previously said didn’t exist. Settlement with second plaintiff in 4/07 for $135K. Another claim settled 2008.
Ronald A.SoutiereBurlington, VTNamed publicly as accused by the diocese on its list 8/22/19. Resigned as pastor of St. Ann’s in 4/02, placed on administrative leave in 6/02. Faculties revoked 11/2/04.
RouelleForrest W.Burlington, VTRouelle’s name is mentioned in 8/08 trial against Burlington Diocese and Fr. Edward Paquette. Former Vicar General Searles was questioned about Rouelle and other priests in connection with diocese’s concern about sexual misconduct allegations. He died in 1998. No further information found.
TowneCharles A.Burlington, VTNamed publicly as accused by the diocese on its list 8/22/19. Retired 1972. Died 2/15/82.
WardDonalBurlington, VTPlaced on leave 5/02 after being identified as active priest with past accusations of abuse of minor. In 9/02 Atty General referred to one priest who “groomed” a young man until he was 17 (legal age) and then began a sexual relationship with him. On 9/26/02 Ward admitted in statement to a consensual sexual liaison with a young adult male. He resigned from parish but denied grooming, saying instead that the youth had been sexually active for several years before he began the relationship.
WillisAlfredBurlington, VTComplaints from parishioners to Bishop Marshall 1978 that Willis molested their sons. Transferred twice more, accused during both assignments. Placed on leave 1980; sent to Paracletes in NM for treatment. Laicized 1985. Suit filed 2003, claiming abuse in 1970s. Settlement of 1 suit 2004 for $170K. At least two suits pending 4/06. New suit 3/07. Willis previously settled with this plaintiff. Mistrial declared 6/07. New trial began 11/26/07. Another case settled 2/08 for $170K. Appealed to VT Sup. Court. New trial ordered 10/09. New suit filed Fall 2010. One case settled 1/13. Last believed to be living in VA. Suit filed in 12/18. Settled same month. Suit filed 8/19.
WysolmerskiBenjaminBurlington, VTAccused of abuse of at least 2 girls in 1950s and 1970s. At least one claim settled for undisclosed sum in 1997. Woman alleged he raped her in 1960s when she was student and again in 1970s when she was married. One Plaintiff said she identified multiple other victims. Wysolmerski died in 1994. Allegations against him mentioned at 8/08 trial against Edward Paquette and Diocese.

Please note that this Vermont priest sex abuse list is not an exhaustive and complete list because new information of sexual abuses and sexual assaults by priests and clergy of the Roman Catholic Church becomes available daily.

Please bookmark this page and check back regularly for more up-to-date information on this priest abuse list as it becomes available.

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