Guilderland man brings claim of being sexually abused, at about age 13, by priest Jupin 

The Enterprise — Michael Koff 

Our Lady of Mercy Church at 26 Wilson Ave. in Albany was where Alan Jupin worked as a priest when, in about 1983, he sexually abused and raped a Guilderland man who was about 13 at the time, according to a civil suit recently filed in Albany County Supreme Court.  ​

GUILDERLAND — A Guilderland man has brought charges of sexual abuse against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany and Our Lady of Mercy Church in Albany, alleging that priest Alan Jupin, who has since died, sexually assaulted him in approximately 1983, when he was about 13. 

The Enterprise has a policy of withholding the names of victims of sexual assault unless they agree to be named. 

The plaintiff was unable to comment by press time on how these alleged acts have affected him, since he did not want to talk without his attorney, Jordan K. Merson of Merson Law in Manhattan. Merson did not return Enterprise calls. 

Jupin died in January 2019. His sister, Alicia Jupin-Morrison, reached by phone to see if she might want to comment in his stead, declined comment.

The civil suit was filed in Albany County Supreme Court — the Supreme Court is the bottom tier of New York State’s three-tiered system — on Aug. 14, the first day of the “look-back year” established with the passage in January of the Child Victims Act in New York. (See related story.)

Jupin was “granted voluntary leave of absence from ministry” in May 2003 by then-Bishop Howard Hubbard amid allegations of sexual abuse, said diocesan spokeswoman Mary DeTurris Poust, adding that she believes the allegations claimed he had abused two teenagers in Schenectady in the 1970s.

Jupin, she said, was later reinstated, following an investigation.

 

Current allegations 

The court documents outline the plaintiff’s allegations: 

Despite knowing that Jupin sexually abused children or had the propensity to do so, the diocese allowed him “unfettered access to children, on Church and Diocese premises,” the complaint says. 

In about 1983, while Jupin was a priest at Our Lady of Mercy Church at 26 Wilson Ave. in Albany, he would invite the plaintiff, who was then about 13, to attend parties at his apartment. Jupin would then ply him with alcohol and sexually abuse him, by kissing him, fondling his penis, and raping him, the complaint says.

Jupin sexually assaulted the plaintiff “and many other young male patrons” of Our Lady of Mercy Church, and yet the diocese and Our Lady of Mercy Church “failed to remove Jupin from his position as a priest or to take any steps to keep the dangerous predator away from children,” the complaint says, adding, “In fact, the Diocese continued to allow, encourage and/or permit Jupin to have unfettered access to children.” 

The priest took advantage of the plaintiff’s “desire to fit in,” the complaint says, by inviting him to parties at his home with other boys. He would then ply the plaintiff with alcohol, get him drunk, and “sexually abuse and rape him.” 

Jupin would cook for the plaintiff, give alcohol to him and the other boys, and force them to watch inappropriate movies with him; the plaintiff recalls being “foggy” after just two drinks, the complaint says. 

The priest would kiss the plaintiff on the mouth and put his hand down the plaintiff’s pants and fondle him until he ejaculated, the complaint says. He also forcefully raped and sodomized him, the complaint says. 

As a result, the plaintiff felt and continues to feel “ashamed, embarrassed and uncomfortable.” He has endured and continues to endure, according to the complaint, “severe emotional distress” because of the diocese’s negligence. 

The negligence of our Lady of Mercy Church, in failing to supervise Jupin and keep children safe from him, caused the plaintiff “serious personal injuries, emotional distress, mental pain and suffering, mental anguish and/or physical manifestations thereof, and other losses, all of which have not as of yet been ascertained.” These effects were also caused by the diocese’s negligence in “hiring, retaining and supervising their personnel, such as Father Jupin,” the complaint says. 

The diocese has the “power, ability, authority and duty to intervene with and/or stop the improper conduct that resulted in Plaintiff being sexually abused by Father Jupin,” the complaint says. 

The lawsuit seeks “to recover for the emotional and physical suffering he incurred because of the negligency of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany and to make sure no other child is forced to suffer the abuse and physical and mental trauma he felt and continues to feel,” the complaint says. 

The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

 

Another Jupin abuse claim

Jupin is also named in a suit, also filed on Aug. 14, brought by a number of plaintiffs naming several priests, monks, and employees from churches and schools around the diocese. In that suit, one of the plaintiffs, a man who lives in Schenectady, names Jupin as an abuser. A different plaintiff in this same suit claims to have been sexually abused, at St. Mary’s in Ballston Spa, by then-Bishop Howard Hubbard, including in a room off the sacristy. 

The plaintiff in this suit who claims abuse by Jupin says that Jupin used his position as a priest at St. John’s, which includes a parish and a school in Schenectady, to groom and sexually abuse him. 

The plaintiff and his family were members of St. John’s, the complaint says. They trusted Jupin because the diocese and St. John’s “held him out as someone who was safe and could be trusted with the supervision, care, custody, and control” of the plaintiff.

But instead of exercising “such care as would a parent of ordinary prudence in comparable circumstances,” the complaint says, “Jupin and other priests sexually abused him.” 

The plaintiff was about 16 to 17 years old at the time, the complaint says, adding that Father Jupin hosted the other priests at the rectory and introduced them to the plaintiff, “whom they then sexually abused.” 

Jupin sexually abused the plaintiff “multiple times,” the complaint says; this abuse by Jupin and the other priests occurred at St. John’s, including in the rectory. 

At certain times, Jupin’s sexual abuse occurred during activities that were sponsored by the diocese and St. John’s, or that were the direct result of those activities. 

The complaint charges that the diocese and St. John’s “knew or should have known that Father Jupin was likely to abuse children,” including the plaintiff, because of Jupin’s “well-known and demonstrated affinity for teenage boys and Father Jupin’s practice of giving alcohol to teenage boys to the point of intoxication in the rectory and at parties hosted by Father Jupin.” 

The complaint says that the diocese and St. John’s knew or should have known before and during Jupin’s sexual abuse of the plaintiff that priests like him and the other people serving the diocese and St. John’s who had also groomed and sexually abused children “could not be ‘cured’ through treatment or counseling.” 

The complaint says that the diocese and St. John’s concealed the sexual abuse of children by Jupin in order to conceal their own bad acts in failing to protect children from him, to protect their reputation, and to prevent victims from coming forward during the extremely limited statute of limitations in effect prior to the enactment of the Child Victims Act; they did this even though they knew that Jupin would continue to molest children. 

The diocese and St. John’s “acted in concert with each other or with Father Jupin” to conceal the danger he posed to children, the complaint says. 

The diocese and St. John’s not only failed to protect the plaintiff from being abused by Jupin, but also failed to train their staff in recognizing signs of predation and to warn parents and children of the danger of sexual abuse, the complaint says. ​

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