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Spotlight Report

Former priest indicted on child-rape charges

By Michael Rezendes, Globe Staff, 5/16/2002

The Rev. Ronald H. Paquin is the only Boston Archdiocese priest who has pleaded guilty to charges of child sexual abuse.  
Coverage of the Paquin case
Former priest Ronald H. Paquin yesterday was indicted by an Essex County grand jury on three counts of raping a child on numerous occasions between 1989 and 1992.

Essex District Attorney Kevin M. Burke said all of the alleged rapes took place in Haverhill and that yesterday's indictment stemmed from an investigation by his office that led to Paquin's arrest last week, when the former priest was charged with one count of child rape and held on $100,000 cash bail.

Burke said Paquin, 59, is charged with repeatedly raping a boy, now in his mid-20s, while Paquin was associate pastor at St. John the Baptist Church in Haverhill. Burke said some of the alleged rapes, which began when the boy was 12 years old, took place in Paquin's car, others in a cemetery.

Burke said his office has been in contact with authorities in Maine and New Hampshire about additional alleged rapes by Paquin in those states.

Kevin Reddington, a lawyer for Paquin, said yesterday he would seek to have the former priest's bail lowered during an arraignment on the rape charges scheduled for next Wednesday in Haverhill District Court.

Reddington also noted that an indictment is not a conviction. ''A grand jury presentation is very one-sided. There's no opportunity for the defendant to make a statement, and there's no evidence presented on his behalf,'' he said.

Paquin, in a Globe interview in January, admitted to a history of molesting boys. After an account of Paquin's alleged assaults appeared in the Globe in March, lawyer Jeffrey Newman brought the alleged victim to Burke's office for an interview with State Police.

Yesterday the man, who has withheld his identity, said, ''I was nervous that Massachusetts wasn't going to do anything, or was going to take a long time. It's good to see they're on top of this stuff.''

Newman, who has filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of the alleged victim, accused church officials of allowing Paquin to continue working as a priest even after they had received accusations that he was a child molester.

Donna M. Morrissey, a spokeswoman for the Boston Archdiocese, declined comment.

Michael Rezendes can be reached at

This story ran on page A24 of the Boston Globe on 5/16/2002.
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