January 04, 2005

Ex-priest Porter may face commitment despite cancer

Star Tribune

Denise Lavoie, Associated Press
January 4, 2005

BOSTON -- Prosecutors are not prepared to immediately drop their bid to keep former priest James Porter locked up for the rest of his life, even though the notorious pedophile with a history of abuse allegations dating to the 1970s in Minnesota is hospitalized with incurable cancer.

Assistant District Attorney Renee Dupuis said Monday in Boston that prosecutors need to get an update from Porter's doctor before deciding whether he should still face trial on their petition to have him civilly committed as a sexually dangerous person.

"There are plenty of people who are diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses that respond well to treatment, and we've prosecuted plenty of people who were 'terminally ill' and survived for years," Dupuis said.

Porter was at the center of a notorious child-molestation case a decade ago. He was convicted in 1993 of molesting 28 children during the 1960s and 1970s while he was a priest in the Fall River, Mass., Diocese.

Porter completed 11 years in prison in January 2004, but has remained in custody while prosecutors seek to have him committed indefinitely. In April a judge found enough evidence to hold a trial on that question.

Posted by kshaw at January 4, 2005 03:32 AM