NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

January 16, 2013

Clergyman admits to sexual assault

AMESBURY - A Lynn man ordained as a bishop in a small religious order escaped jail time earlier this week after pleading out to sexually assaulting two women back in 2011, according to court records.

The two charges of indecent assault and battery of a person over 14 years old against Gerald J. Clements, 55, of 40 Cannon Rock Road, Lynn, known as Father Gerald during his time at the Maple Street nursing home, were continued without finding for 18 months.

Clements and his two victims, according to police, were all hired contractors by the Amesbury Village Nursing Home on Maple Street. The incidents allegedly took place inside one of the victim’s home and the other inside a car parked in the Andyman Bakery parking lot off Hillside Avenue.

Should Clements remain out of trouble during that time and stay away and have no contact with his victims, the two charges will be dropped and stricken from his record.

Investigating officer Detective Robert Wile said yesterday he was pleased the victims were spared from reliving the incidents in a courthouse.

“I’m glad it’s over and the victims didn’t have to take the stand,” Wile said.

According to Amesbury police, Clements was ordained by The Reformed Catholic Church International. The order is not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, nor with the Boston Archdiocese. The independent order derives many of its sacrament and liturgical practices from Roman Catholic tradition.

His profile on the church’s website shows a photo of Clements wearing a priest’s collar and priest garb. He was ordained to the priesthood on May, 1997 and elevated to the order of bishop in 2002. A computer engineer by trade, like other members of the greater independent Catholic Church, Clements supplements his income by working a secular job. Most recently he has served as director of customer service for a major international computer company, according to the church website.

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