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Spotlight Report

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Judge warns archdiocese of heavy fines

By Matt Carroll, Globe Staff, 10/31/2002

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
Judge Constance M. Sweeney yesterday threatened the Archdiocese of Boston with heavy fines if it does not turn over psychiatric records in a lawsuit against the Rev. Ronald H. Paquin, who is accused of sexually molesting a boy. An archdiocesan spokeswoman later said there had been a breakdown in communication and the documents would be turned over today.

The handwritten order from Sweeney, filed in Middlesex Superior Court, made it clear she was upset with the archdiocese, which had been ordered to turn over the documents on Oct. 4. ''If they are not turned over, I will enter a significant financial sanction; the amount to be determined after hearing,'' wrote Sweeney.

Church spokeswoman Donna M. Morrissey said the archdiocese was not opposed to turning over the documents but had held off because church lawyers thought Paquin's lawyer was going to appeal the judge's order. Since no appeal has been filed, she said, the documents will be turned over today.

The records include 14 separate psychiatric assessments of Paquin, made between 1990 and 1995, from two psychiatric institutions.

Paquin was not removed from church duty until 2000, despite numerous complaints he had molested youths and had at least six settled cases against him. In May, the 59-year-old Paquin was indicted on three counts of rape of a child.

Walter V. Robinson contributed to this story.

This story ran on page A20 of the Boston Globe on 10/31/2002.
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