March 05, 2005

Justice is halted at the border

MetroWest Daily News

By Sara Withee / Daily News Staff
Sunday, March 6, 2005

As allegations began, four priests became quick symbols of the Archdiocese of Boston's unfolding clergy sex abuse scandal: Ronald Paquin, Paul Shanley, Kevin Iguabita and Paul Desilets.

Among the first to face public allegations in the wake of former priest John Geoghan's sex abuse trial in 2002, the four were also linked by their inability to escape prosecution through statutes of limitations.

Paquin, a former Haverhill priest charged with raping an altar boy, was sentenced first in January 2003. Iguabita was convicted that summer of raping a 15-year-old girl from his Haverhill parish.

Shanley, meanwhile, met his fate last month when he was convicted of child rape during a widely watched trial in Middlesex Superior Court. The 74-year-old former Newton priest is now serving 12 to 15 years in state prison.

Desilets is the only one who remains free. The 81-year-old has spent the past three years in Canada, fighting extradition on 32 charges of sexually abusing and assaulting altar boys at Assumption parish in Bellingham.

It's a fight expected to stretch on at least a few more months -- news that comes hard for the now-grown altar boys who have spent several decades awaiting justice.

Posted by kshaw at March 5, 2005 11:56 PM