January 12, 2005

Priest will receive up to 7 years for abuse

Portland Press Herald

By JEN FISH, Portland Press Herald Writer

BOSTON A Jesuit priest who taught and coached at Cheverus High School in Portland faces as much as seven years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually abusing boys he coached at Boston College High School in the 1970s. The Rev. James F. Talbot, 67, pleaded guilty Tuesday to rape, assault with intent to rape, and three counts of assault and battery. He will be sentenced Jan. 24.

The plea agreement says Talbot will spend five to seven years in a state prison and three years on probation, and will be required to register as a sexual offender and give the state of Massachusetts a DNA sample.

Tuesday's hearing marked the first time Talbot has publicly acknowledged his crimes. He was sued in 1998 by a former Cheverus student, Michael S. Doherty, who accused the priest of molesting him in 1984 and 1985.

The lawsuit was settled in 2001 for an undisclosed amount of money. Talbot, who had been fired from Cheverus in 1998, avoided criminal prosecution in Maine because the statue of limitations had expired.

Posted by kshaw at January 12, 2005 06:04 AM