January 11, 2005

Former teacher to plead guilty

Boston Globe

By David Abel, Globe Staff | January 11, 2005

A 67-year-old priest who worked as a teacher and wrestling coach at Boston College High School will plead guilty today in Suffolk Superior Court to raping one teenage student and assaulting another during wrestling practice in the 1970s, prosecutors said yesterday.

The Rev. James F. Talbot, a Jesuit priest who taught at BC High between 1972 and 1980, agreed to serve five to seven years in state prison for three counts of assault and battery, one count of rape, and one count of assault with intent to rape, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said in a telephone interview.

''This is a fair result to the victims and one that they approve of," Conley said. ''We hope this helps them find closure. Given the offenses, his age, and input of the victims, the Commonwealth is satisfied that this is a substantial penalty." Talbot, of Weston, could not be reached yesterday, and his lawyer did not return calls.

Prosecutors would not identify the victims, except to say that they were between 15 and 17 years old when Talbot allegedly assaulted them. Conley described one or more of the assault counts as involving ''improper touching."

At BC High, where the abuse allegedly took place between December 1977 and the spring of 1979, officials said they hope the priest's imprisonment consoles the victims.

Posted by kshaw at January 11, 2005 07:47 AM