April 29, 2002: Decades after enduring years of sexual assaults by a priest close to her West Stockbridge family, Sheri A. Biasin, then 42, calls in to a hotline, at 8:20 p.m., to report her abuse, naming the late Rev. Daniel Gill, formerly of St. Charles Parish in Pittsfield.

May 1, 2002: Lois C. Lynch with the Springfield diocese writes a summary of Biasin’s case and files it.

May 2002: Biasin completes diocesan paperwork and prepares to appear before the Commission to Investigate Improper Conduct of Diocesan Personnel. She is told May 14 by letter that another woman had also reported that Gill sexually assaulted her, at age 15. Biasin drafts a three-page, hand-written letter to the unnamed woman offering her support and asks that the diocese forward it. “I don’t know you (or maybe I do),” it begins.

May 15, 2002: James Bell, chair of the commission, writes to thank Biasin for her “courageous testimony …. Our members were impressed by your candor and memory of very painful details.” Bell says a report will be sent to the Most Rev. Thomas L. Dupre, the current bishop.

Early 2004: About a week before Biasin is to meet with Bishop Dupre, he retired, a day after the Springfield Republican sought comment from Dupre on statements made by the mother of an alleged victim of child rape. Seven months later, on Sept. 27, 2004, Dupre was indicted by a Hampden County grand jury on charges he sexually assaulted two altar boys more than 30 years before, becoming the first U.S. bishop to be indicted amid a flood of clergy sexual assault reports. The district attorney said Dupre would not stand trial because of statute of limitations problems and he later takes refuge at a church property in Maryland.

In the following years, the diocese paid for counseling sessions for Biasin to address what one therapist, Catherine T. Spence of Pittsfield, describes in 2008 as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety disorder “and numerous physical manifestations [that] continue to resurface … as a result of the consequences of this unfortunate but lingering childhood trauma.” Biasin has been in counseling intermittently since a suicide attempt when she was 15.

2004: The Springfield Diocese pays settlements to victims of clergy abuse.

April 5, 2005: In a form letter addressed to Biasin, Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell writes that American bishops want to better understand what survivors of clergy abuse, saying, “My strongest hope is that this letter will not open old wounds, but help prevent new ones.” He invites her to go online and fill out a confidential survey. “I apologize again for any hurt you have been caused.”

March 23, 2007: Biasin faxes material to the diocese on basic facts regarding her case, including her experience of abuse, because “they lost the file.”

2008: Biasin again files out a basic questionnaire about the abuse, at the diocese’s request.

July 2008: The Springfield Diocese sets Aug. 11, 2008, as the deadline for remaining abuse victims to opt in on a financial settlement that would pay between $5,000 and $200,000, according to the Springfield Republican. Biasin decides, in sessions with Spence, that it may help her “to finally achieve further ‘resolution’ through the Diocese’s promise to compensate victims for their sexual abuse,” as Spence wrote in a case summary.

Sept. 12, 2008: Biasin writes to the sitting bishop, Timothy A. McDonnell, who replaced Dupre. “I am requesting you please set aside some time ASAP for me so I can finally have closure w/ my sexual abuse as a child by our family priest. … I need/want to be free of this horrific suffering. I feel in my heart that meeting w/ you will close these chapters in my life.” She attaches the six-page statement she wrote at the time of her initial report. “So I do not need to relive it here and again when I meet w/ you.”

Sept. 16, 2008: Bishop McDonnell replies to Biasin. “Let me tell you how sorry I am for all that you have been through,” he writes. He agrees to meet with her and says that staffer Patricia McManamy will be handling her case.

Sept. 30, 2008: Biasin agrees to accept a settlement with the diocese that says, on Page 12, that the agreement “is not to be construed as an admission of liability upon the part of any of the released parties, but rather as a good faith settlement of disputed claims.”

Nov. 20, 2008: An attorney with Egan, Flanagan and Cohen of Springfield sends Biasin a check for $39,000 from the “Settlement Fund of the Diocese of Springfield.” Biasin uses most of the money to pay down a home equity loan she had taken out to cover dental bills. She paid tens of thousands of dollars for bone grafts, tooth extractions, implants and other work as a result of TMJ (temporomandibular joint dysfunction) she developed in her 20s. In a statement that year to the diocese, she wrote: “I can go back to when the grinding & clenching started & it was what I did when I was being abused. I can see my little face to this day biting down & grinding while being abused.”

In notes she kept at the time, Biasin wrote that she felt “strong armed to sign settlement … was told if I didn’t I would end up w/ nothing.”

March 2009: Biasin meets with McDonnell. In notes she kept, she wrote that she wanted to retrieve a copy of her file. McDonnell went to find it and came back to say her file “must be misplaced,” she wrote. She said the session “did not end well” after she asked the bishop whether Dupre was being cared for in a facility for priests in Maryland, referring to it as “the spa for pedophiles.”

April 1, 2009: McDonnell thanks her for the visit. “I know it wasn’t easy for you, but I pray, God willing, that it was helpful.” He says the church will continue to cover her co-pays for therapy and medications, but not for further dental surgery. “I pray that the continued therapy will help and that you will find some peace and consolation,” the bishop wrote. “I have been praying for you every day in a special way and will continue to do so asking God to watch over you, particularly to help you and to guide you. I hope that I might be in your prayers as well.”

2009 and 2010: Biasin receives letters from the diocese related mostly to her dental bills, confirming that the church will provide up to $10,000 in additional financial assistance. In one letter, McManamy suggests a new type of psychotherapy. “I recognize that feeling that you have been at this a long time and working so hard,” she writes.

In the intervening years, Biasin continues to receive therapy, with some financial support from the diocese.

Feb. 25, 2021: Biasin calls the diocese to request a copy of her file.

March 5, 2021: Jeffrey J. Trant, who runs the Office of Safe Environment and Victim Assistance, sends her 18 documents. Essential paperwork, such as the 2002 commission’s report to Dupre, is missing. The documents do, however, include the 2002 intake report by Lois C. Lynch and confirmation that the commission’s chairman planned to report her abuse to Dupre. The file also includes evidence of ongoing financial support to Biasin and a letter from McDonnell, the bishop.

June 2, 2021: The diocese, under the leadership of William Byrne, decides to expand the list of “credibly accused” priests to include those against whom reports were received after their deaths. Biasin is surprised that the name of her abuser is not listed. She is told that elements of her file have been “lost.”

June 2021: Biasin sits for her second interview with what the diocese now refers to as its Diocesan Review Board.

July 1, 2021: Two investigators employed by the diocese ask Biasin to meet with them to discuss “these allegations.” They do not use the priest’s correct first name.

July 17, 2021:  The diocese sends details on Biasin’s report to the office of the Berkshire District Attorney, as required by a memorandum of understanding signed in April 2020. “Ms. Biasin stated that she wants Father Gill’s name published by the Diocese on its list of persons credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor,” the referral states. It lists the following as the “date of intake” for her complaint: July 17, 2021.

Larry Parnass can be reached at lparnass@berkshireeagle.com and 413-588-8341.

Investigations editor

Larry Parnass joined The Eagle in 2016 from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, where he was editor in chief. His freelance work has appeared in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Hartford Courant, CommonWealth Magazine and with the Reuters news service.