January 10, 2005

Priest to plead guilty to molesting teens

Telegram & Gazette

The Associated Press

BOSTON— A Catholic priest has agreed to plead guilty Tuesday to charges he sexually assaulted teenagers while he was a teacher and wrestling coach at Boston College High School, prosecutors said.

The Rev. James F. Talbot, 67, faces up to seven years in state prison under a plea agreement between his attorney and prosecutors, said David Procopio, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley.

Talbot is expected to plead guilty to one count of rape, one count of assault with intent to rape, and three counts of assault and battery.

He allegedly assaulted two students during wrestling drills between December 1977 and the spring of 1979.

Talbot is believed to be the first member of the Society of Jesus of New England, known as Jesuits, to be prosecuted on sex abuse charges.

The Jesuits, one of the Catholic Church's largest religious orders, are noted educators who operate many colleges and secondary schools, including Boston College and BC High.

Talbot went to the state Supreme Judicial Court in an effort to shield prosecutors from his personnel files, which included communications between Talbot and his superiors. The high court last year rejected that request.

Posted by kshaw at January 10, 2005 09:24 PM