April 23, 2005

Bay State officials reel in accused molester priest

Boston Herald

By David Weber
Saturday, April 23, 2005 - Updated: 08:14 AM EST

Appearing frail and depressed, a Catholic priest who once served in a Bellingham church was returned to Massachusetts from Canada yesterday and taken into custody to be arraigned for allegedly molesting 18 boys.

The Rev. Paul Desilets, 81, fought extradition for three years before surrendering to authorities for his arraignment Monday on 32 criminal counts in Worcester Superior Court.

``International extradition presents problems whenever you engage in it,'' Worcester District Attorney John Conte told the Milford Daily News. ``Problems did occur here, and thanks to tremendous cooperation here by our Department of Justice, we were able to weather some major obstacles.''

Desilets carried a cane as state police and Worcester deputy sheriffs led him through Logan International Airport. He eventually was placed in a wheelchair. Desilets maintained complete silence and did not acknowledge news cameras and reporters' questions in the airport terminal.

Desilets was a priest at Assumption Church in Bellingham for 10 years. He is charged with molesting 18 boys, many of them former altar boys, in the decade before 1984, when he returned to his native Canada.

Posted by kshaw at April 23, 2005 08:48 AM