Rev. John P. ("J.P.") Blankenship
Summary of Case: Blankenship pleaded guilty in Jan. 2003 to having sexually abused a 14 year-old boy in 1982. The diocese knew about the accusation in 1988 when the victim reported it to them. Blankenship was sent to treatment at St. Luke's Institute in Maryland for seven months, followed by six years of outpatient treatment. He admitted his abuse of the boy, apologized, and paid for the boy's counseling and college education. Blankenship was kept in active ministry until August 2002. That same month Blankenship was indicted on charges of sodomizing the 1982 victim. The victim decided to press charges when he learned Blankenship was living in a parish, and might be "maneuvering his way back to working with children". Blankenship was sentenced to indefinite supervised probation. His victim stated that Bishop Sullivan told him the previous summer that he knew of another alleged Blankenship victim, who was by then deceased. Blankenship is a registered sex offender.
Richmond bishop was John Joyce Russell (1958-1973)
|1965||Sacred Heart of Jesus||Winchester||VA||Assistant||Sacred Heart had a school with 108 boys and 106 girls.|
|1965||1967||St. Agnes||Arlington||VA||Assistant||St. Agnes had a school.|
|1967||1968||St. Mary Star of the Sea||Fort Monroe||VA||Assistant||St. Mary's had a school with 152 boys and 175 girls.|
|1967||1968||St. Joseph's||Buckroe Beach||VA||This was a mission of St. Mary's in Fort Monroe.|
|1968||1969||St. Rose of Lima||Hampton||VA||Assistant||St. Rose's was affiliated with Central Elementary School, which drew from several parishes. It had 575 students.|
Burlington bishop was Robert Francis Joyce (1956-1971)
|1970||Christ the King||Burlington||VT||Assistant||Christ the King had a school with 378 students.|
|1970||1973||St. Mary's||Richmond||VA||Assistant||St. Mary's had a school with 321 students.|
Walter Francis Sullivan replaced Russell as Richmond bishop (1974-2003)
|1977||St. John's||Highland Springs||VA||Pastor; only priest|
|1977||1984||Sacred Heart of Jesus||
• Blankenship admitted when confronted in 1988 that he had sexually abused a 14 year-old boy in 1982. The victim said the abuse occurred over a six month period in the parish house. As Sacred Heart parishioners, the boy and his family regularly volunteered to help with chores around the church and parish house.
|VA||Pastor; only priest||Blankenship apologized to the victim and paid for the boy's counseling and college education.|
|May 1983||2002||Federal Correctional Institution||Petersburg||VA||Chaplain||
Blankenship is not indexed in the 1985 through 1990 Directories.
Per news reports, Blankenship was sent to St. Luke's Institute in Silver Spring, MD, for psychiatric treatment in 1988 after a young man told the archdiocese Blankenship sexually abused him in 1982, when the man was 14 years old. Blankenship is said to have been at St. Luke's for seven months, followed by six years of outpatient treatment. Also per media reports, Blankenship served as Chaplain at the Federal Correctional Institute from May 1983 until he was removed from active ministry in 2002.
|1996||1998||St. Ann's||Petersburg||VA||In residence.|
|2002||St. James'||Hopewell||VA||In residence.|
Francis Xavier DiLorenzo succeeded Sullivan (2004-)
Blankenship was forced into retirement in August 9, 2002 due to his having sexually abused a 14 year-old boy in 1982.
He was indicted in August 20, 2002 on four counts of sodomizing a teenage boy in 1982. Police said the victim decided to press charges because he was concerned that Blankenship was "maneuvering his way back to working with children". The victim had learned that Blankenship was in residence at St. James'.
Blankenship pleaded guilty in January 2003 and was sentenced to indefinite supervised probation. His victim stated that Bishop Sullivan told him in the summer of 2002 that another person had come forward with allegations against Blankenship. That accuser was, by then, deceased.
|2004||2005||Blankenship is not indexed in the 2005 Directory.|
|2007||2011||Blankenship is not indexed in the 2008 through 2010 Directories. A 2011 google search shows him to be a registered sex offender with a Richmond, VA address.|
Source: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1964-2007)
• Petersburg Priest Is Expelled for Abuse, By Steven G. Vegh, Virginian-Pilot(Norfolk, Va.), August 10, 2002