March 24, 2005

Jury finds Rochester priest not guilty in child rape case

Boston Herald

By Laura Crimaldi
Thursday, March 24, 2005 - Updated: 03:37 AM EST

A Plymouth jury yesterday cleared a 77-year-old parish priest of allegations he repeatedly raped a young boy during private religious tutoring sessions at the church office during the 1980s.

The family of the accuser wailed as the Rev. John P. Lyons closed his eyes and bowed his head when the jury delivered a not-guilty verdict on one count of child rape in Brockton Superior Court.

``I can't believe you would do this to my son,'' the accuser's mother cried out.

Lyons was put on leave from St. Rose of Lima Church in Rochester in July 2002 when allegations of sexual misconduct first surfaced, said the Rev. James Lanergan, the current church administrator.

Lyons declined comment when reached at his Plymouth home.

Posted by kshaw at March 24, 2005 04:14 AM