A Franciscan priest from New York state with ties to Massachusetts pleaded guilty today to five counts of statutory rape of two minors from a Troy parish during trips to Boston over a 12-year period.
Rev. Frank Genevive, 53, who lives in a Franciscan retreat in Wappingers Falls and once worked in a Troy church, entered a guilty plea as part of a plea agreement just before his trial was expected to start today in Suffolk Superior Court.
One of his victims, Mark Lyman of Stillwater, Saratoga County, who is the co-director of the Albany chapter of SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, was in court and preparing to testify, when Genevive pleaded guilty as part of a plea bargain.
“It is a victory. I have been vindicated,” said Lyman. “Today I go from an alleged victim to a victim. I've always had a problem with that word alleged.”
“We have stopped this cycle of violence,” said Lyman. “He will be a lifetime sex offender. Everyone will know about him and he will not be able to hurt more children.”
Genevive was sentenced to 8 to 10 years in prison, suspended for a period of five years. This means if he re-offends, or violates any condition of probation in five years, he would serve the full sentence.
The judge ordered that he cannot have any contact with minors; must attend sex offender treatment and therapy; must stay away from the victims; wear a GPS monitoring device; submit a DNA sample and register with the sex offender registry board, according to Erika Gully-Santiago, spokeswoman with the Suffolk County District Attorney's office.
Genevive was initially arraigned in July 2006 in Suffolk Superior Court on four counts of child rape and was ordered to stay away from minor children and the two victims, who were between 13 and 16 years old when the alleged assaults occurred between 1977 and 1989.
Because Genevive returned to New York after each visit to Boston, the Massachusetts statute of limitations did not expire, according to prosecutors.
Genevive raped Lyman and the other minor in a rectory in the North End or in Genevive’s car in downtown Boston, according to prosecutors.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany oversees St. Anthony's of Padua in Troy, where Genevive worked when the alleged assaults took place. Because Genevive was a member of the Franciscan order, he was not supervised by the diocese.
The Franciscan Province of the Immaculate Conception, which oversees Franciscans, removed Genevive from active ministry in June 2002.
The organization could not be reached to comment.
Genevive taught at the former Christopher Columbus Catholic High School in Boston's North End in the 1980s. He was an assistant priest at St. Margaret's Parish in Buzzards Bay from 1998 to 2000, according to a spokesman for the Diocese of Fall River.