March 02, 2006

Suspended priest arrested for allegedly assaulting mother, sister


The Associated Press
DUDLEY, Mass. -- The suspended pastor of a Worcester church, who was placed on administrative leave after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced, has been charged with assaulting his mother and sister at the Oxford home the three share.

The Rev. Joseph A. Coonan, 58, is charged with domestic assault and battery, assault and battery on a person over 65 years of age, and one count of intimidating a witness, according to court documents.

An innocent plea was entered on his behalf at his arraignment in Dudley District Court on Wednesday. He was released on bail of $250 and personal recognizance. He is due back in court April 4 for a pretrial conference.

Rev. Coonan was removed from ministry at St. John's Roman Catholic Church in August 2002 by former Worcester Diocese Bishop Daniel P. Reilly after some men came forward with allegations of inappropriate contact in the 1970s.

Posted by kshaw at March 2, 2006 07:19 AM