Vesnaugh: Gerard John Vesnaugh

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Gerard Vesnaugh (Pic Detroit Free Press 26 October 1986)



Gerard John Vesnaugh

Jerry Vesnaugh

alias:  Frank Edward Quinn

American. Ex Jesuit priest.  Ordained 1968.  Served in Detroit, Michigan.  Laicized/DEFROCKED in 1975.  Studied law and worked as a lawyer.  Had his licence suspended for 120 days.  May have been disbarred since then.  CONVICTED at least three times for sex abuse of young boys.  Fled to Windsor Ontario in 1986 – CONVICTED for sex abuse of two young boys in the Windsor area.

Living in Sun City Arizona? 


2018:  Actively involved with St. Vincent de Paul Society  at St. Joachim and St. Anne Catholic Church, Sun City, Arizona

Pages extracted from  St Vincent de Paul Society Newsletter January/February 2018 (Diocesan Council of Phoenix, AZ)


26 October 1986:  coverage of court case in Canada

Molester may get chance for rehabilitation  Part One 1

 Molester my get chance for rehabilitation  Part Two

03 October 1986:  Former priest who jumped parole pleads guilty in new fondling case (reference perjury)

22 March 1981:  Detroit lawyer jailed on sex charge

11 July 1981:   Ex-priest To Be Tried (reference former Jesuit)



2006:  Michigan Secret Judicial Misconduct – 2006 Vesnaugh’s name is on list of ” some of the attorneys, law firms, or judges who have been reported to have been disciplined by the State of Michigan for unethical conduct, who may be a resident of the State of Michigan but was disciplined in another state, indicted, sued for malpractice, arrested, incarcerated, whom we understand have been charged with unethical and/or criminal conduct, are not permitted to currently practice law in the State of Michigan, have violated the Supreme Law of the Land, or who have engaged in conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts and the legal business into disrepute, etc.”

October 1986: GUILTY plea to charges of sexual assault and perjury.  Sentenced to three years in prison

04 August 1986: Molested two boys ages 10 and 11 whom he met while he was fishing at Belle River, Ontario.   Using the alias Frank Edward Quinn and claimed he was a high school teacher from San Diego, California

February 1986:  moved to Oklahoma,  Charged with sex assault of boy at public pool – due to a court clerk’s managed to flee.  Fled to Windsor, Ontario

1984:  fled to San Diego (apparently feared he would be charged in connection to a unsolved sex crime involving a young girl in a swimming pool)

12 May 1980: Attorney Discipline Board: Notice of Automatic ReinstatementVesnaugh Attorney Discipline Board Michigan February 1980

1981:  CONVICTED.  Served 21/2 years of a five year sentence in Jackson State Prison, Jackson, Michigan

21 February 1980: Media reports he was disbarred but according to this he was merely suspended for 120 days:  State of Michigan Attorney Discipline Board:  Notice of Suspension

1979: CONVICTED – suspended sentence and two years probation.

?: law school and called to the bar

1975:  laicized/defrocked

continued molesting

sent to New Mexico for treatment (probably the Servants of the Paracletes in Jemez Springs, NM?)

1970: as a disciplinary measure (for molesting) was appointed chaplain at Ann Arbour Hospital, Ann Arbour, Michigan

molested a boy while he was serving as hospital chaplian

1968:  ORDAINED.  Served at Immaculate Heart Roman Catholic Church in Detroit, Michigan.

claims he started molesting boys while at Sacred Heart


Defrocked priest jailed for 3 years

The Windsor Star

30 October 1996

Dave Pink and Eric Mayne

The twisted trail of Gerard John Vesnaugh has led to a Canadian penitentiary.

The defrocked priest, disbarred lawyer and longtime child molester – guilty of sexual assault and perjury – was sentenced on Wednesday to three years in prison by provincial court Judge Donald Ebbs.

Vesnaugh, also known as Frank Edward Quinn, admitted sexually assaulting two boys – a 10-year-old and an 11-year-old – at a Belle River beach Aug. 4. He was also found guilty of perjury after lying at his Aug. 8 bail hearing and claiming he was a high school teacher from San Diego, Calif.

In fact, the 54-year-old Vesnaugh is from Detroit and has a long history of homosexual pedophilia.

HE WAS USING his alias, complete with a California driver’s licence in the name of Quinn, when arrested this summer. But after OPP investigators checked with authorities in San Diego and laid the perjury charge, Vesnaugh admitted the truth.

His lawyer, Patrick Ducharme, said the man wanted “to make a clean breast of things” and tell the court his true identity.

Ducharme said Vesnaugh was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1968 and was stationed at Immaculate Heart parish in Detroit where he first learned he was “attracted to young boys.” He said Vesnaugh would take parish altar boys to a local recreation centre where he would swim with them and it was there he committed his first assault.

Vesnaugh began by touching one boy’s genitals through his clothing, a practice he repeated with the same boy “on 15 or 20 other occasions.” There were also “many other instances where he touched young boys,” Ducharme added.

As a disciplinary measure, Vesnaugh was appointed chaplain of Ann Arbor Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich. There, he assaulted another boy in 1970.

Vesnaugh was then sent to a New Mexico retreat for counselling but his therapy was inadequate and he resumed his pattern of sexually assaulting young boys until he was forced out of the priesthood in 1975.

IN 1979, VESNAUGH was convicted of sexual assault in Michigan and received a suspended sentence and two years probation. By then he had graduated from the University of Detroit law school and had been practising for four years. He was disbarred following the conviction.

Two years later, he was charged again with three counts of sexual assault and wound up serving 2 1/2 years of a five-to-15-year sentence in Jackson State Prison in Jackson, Mich.

In 1984, Vesnaugh fled to San Diego fearing he would be charged in connection with an unsolved Detroit-area sex crime involving an indecent assault on a young girl at a public swimming pool.

Ducharme said his client remained in San Diego until February of this year when he moved to Oklahoma. There, he was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting another young boy at a public pool but fled to Windsor after he was released because of a court clerk’s error.

On Aug. 4, court was told, Vesnaugh was fishing in Belle River where he met two boys who were playing along the shore of Lake St. Clair. After striking up conversations with the pair, however, he sexually assaulted one by reaching inside his bathing suit and touching his genitals and by placing his hand inside the bathing suit of the other boy and fondling his buttocks.

UPON HIS RELEASE from prison, deportation procedures will likely be launched. Michigan authorities plan to rearrest Vesnaugh for violation of his parole and will likely return him to Jackson State to finish his sentence.

In his submission to Ebbs, Ducharme asked that Vesnaugh be sentenced to the maximum term in county jail – 122 days. Ducharme said a light sentence would allow Vesnaugh to receive treatment in a sex offenders’ program offered at the Brentwood Recovery Home – a program independent of Brentwood’s program for alcoholism. The Brentwood program, said Ducharme, is ideal to turn Vesnaugh’s life around.

Despite his experiences in the U.S., Ducharme said, Vesnaugh has never received any meaningful treatment or help to overcome his pedophilia. Several members of Detroit’s Roman Catholic clergy testified to back up that statement.

Fr. John Nowlan, priest at St. Rita’s Church in Detroit a longtime friend, said he hopes to see the man undergo treatment and rehabilitate himself. “He has a number of great qualities,” said Nowlan. “He’s an impressive human being, 99 per cent of him. Unfortunately, he’s tragically flawed.”

Another Detroit priest, Fr. Robert Blondell, said Vesnaugh’s past sentences have never brought any meaningful treatment of his pedophilia. “There was never an opportunity for him to get treatment. Every time he was getting treatment they took him from the hospital,” he said.

THE MOST REV. Walter Schoenherr, bishop of the archdiocese of Detroit and the man who recommended Vesnaugh leave the priesthood, said it is important the man receive some treatment before being released. “I would not want him freed and walking the streets,” he said. “But if the treatment can help him, fine.”

Assistant Crown Attorney David Foulds wanted Vesnaugh sent to penitentiary for three to five years. He said the perjury conviction alone should bring a sentence of several months, and the man’s record as a sex offender should bring a lengthy penitentiary term.

Sharon Williams, a clinical psychologist at Kingston Penitentiary, testified the federal penal system offers a good rehabilitative program for sex offenders.

“In my brief tenure on the bench I have never seen a case as difficult as this,” said Ebbs. He said the Belle River assaults were not violent, and that the victims suffered no damaging affects from the assaults. He said the best means of protecting the community is to ensure Vesnaugh receives a rehabilitative sentence so he can overcome his pedophilia.

But “the courts have to recognize the abhorrence of the public,” said Ebbs. “We’re working on their behalf.

“To impose a sentence of only 122 days would produce a sense of outrage in the public, and justifiably so. This individual’s been involved in these acts 15 years and has always refused assistance. He has violated his parole, moved around and changed his identification.

“It would be totally irresponsible to impose a term in the county jail,” said Ebbs.

But a penitentiary sentence as along as five years is too long, and would work against Vesnaugh’s rehabilitation, he said. “There’s a ray of sense in a sentence of three years, and one the public will accept under all the circumstances,” he said.

8 Responses to Vesnaugh: Gerard John Vesnaugh

  1. Carlet Merrell says:

    I am a victim 1986

  2. Karole Vesnaugh says:

    *Carlet I am sorry he hurt you. 

  3. treatment for a pedophile - ha- as if that works says:

    he likely was abused himself which doesn’t excuse it.
    he should have been sentenced to life in prison for all the lives he ruined. maybe then there wouldn’t have been so many victims; remember these are just the ones that are known.

  4. L.W. says:

    My brother was molested by Jerry more than once in the late 70’s. My brother confided to my mother and my sister and I. He talked to us more than once thru tears, right up until he killed himself as a young adult. You can’t tell me this doesn’t mess you up for life. “No lasting harm my ass!”

  5. Karole Pickett says:

    So Gerard appeared on my FB feed yesterday. He is visiting family in MI and they posted a picture. I have reported it to FB and asked them to remove it, my family doesn’t think he did anything wrong. How is he not a registered sex offender? I have checked, he is not.

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