April 06, 2006

Ex-Indiana priest won't attend trial

Indianapolis Star

By Robert King
A former Indiana priest with 12 molestation lawsuits facing him in Vermont says poor health and a lack of money will prevent him from being in court when the first of the cases goes to trial.

Edward O. Paquette, who served Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend from 1964 to 1971, will not appear in court to defend himself when the first trial begins later this month, the Burlington (Vt.) Free Press reported Wednesday.

"I'm soon to have daily radiation treatments for prostate cancer. So will not be able to attend the trial," the paper reported, citing a letter Paquette wrote the court. "Also, cannot attend trial for financial reasons, cannot afford to stay in a motel, restaurant meals for duration of the trial."
Paquette, who now lives in Massachusetts, served two parishes in South Bend, one in Elkhart and another in Decatur. He faced sexual misconduct allegations during that time, said Vince LaBarbera, a spokesman for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. But the diocese no longer has the names of Paquette's Indiana accusers, and it is not clear how those cases were resolved, LaBarbera said.

Posted by kshaw at April 6, 2006 07:28 AM