May 12, 2005

Desilets pleads guilty to molesting 18 boys

Milford Daily News

By Sara Withee / Daily News Staff
Thursday, May 12, 2005

WORCESTER -- After years of fighting prosecution, the Rev. Paul Desilets stood in a courtroom yesterday with seven former Bellingham altar boys and admitted to molesting them and several others in the 1970s and '80s.

"I'm sorry for what happened," Desilets said in Worcester Superior Court, after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting 18 altar boys at Bellingham's now-closed Our Lady of the Assumption Parish.

The 82-year-old Catholic priest offered the apology to Judge Timothy Hillman, but struggled to get the words out when he turned toward the men at Hillman's prodding.

Desilets pleaded guilty to six charges of assault and battery and 26 counts of indecent assault and battery.

On the recommendation of his attorneys and Worcester District Attorney John Conte's office, Hillman sentenced the priest to 1 to 1 1/2 years at MCI-Cedar Junction.

This runs concurrently with an additional sentence of a year in the House of Correction and will be followed by 10 years probation. The cleric had faced up to 10 years in state prison on each indecent assault and battery charge.

Posted by kshaw at May 12, 2005 06:27 AM