February 13, 2006

Accused Priest Returns To Ministry Following Investigation


POSTED: 5:33 am EST February 13, 2006
UPDATED: 6:31 am EST February 13, 2006

KENNEBUNK, Maine -- A Catholic priest has returned to his parish in Kennebunk after an investigation could not substantiate a complaint of improper contact with a minor six years ago.

Rev. Laurent Laplante stepped down as pastor of St. Martha's Parish in December after a high school girl reported that Laplante touched her pants on the knee and inner thigh when she was 9 years old.

Laplante denied any wrongdoing, and the church launched an investigation.

In a letter to parishioners, Bishop Richard Malone said Laplante returned to his pastor duties this weekend. He said the weight of the evidence was not sufficient to determine if an incident did or did not happen.

Posted by kshaw at February 13, 2006 07:41 AM