April 26, 2006

Ex-Fenwick chaplain pleads to sex charges

The Salem News

By Tom Dalton
Staff writer

A former North Shore priest facing the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence admitted this week that he sexually abused three boys more than 25 years ago.

The Rev. James W. Nyhan, 60, former chaplain at Bishop Fenwick High School in Peabody, pleaded guilty in a Charleston, S.C., court to three counts of committing a lewd act on a minor. He entered the plea on Monday, the day his trial was scheduled to start.

He was sentenced to 10 years on each count, but the judge then suspended the sentence and placed Nyhan on probation for five years.

In brief remarks in court, Nyhan said he was sorry for his actions during 1979 and 1980, when he was stationed at the Church of the Nativity in South Carolina.

"I feel badly this colored my otherwise fruitful stay in Charleston," Nyhan said.

Posted by kshaw at April 26, 2006 06:10 AM