May 12, 2006

Life on parole for rapist priest put to bed with girl by parents

Boston Herald

By Laurel J. Sweet
Friday, May 12, 2006 - Updated: 11:28 AM EST

A retired Foxboro priest pleaded guilty yesterday to raping a child nearly 40 years ago after prosecutors divulged the victim’s parents would put him in bed with her to sleep off his drunken stupors.

The Rev. Gerard McMahon, 70, frail and hard-of-hearing, faced dying behind bars. He was instead sentenced to life on probation by Norfolk Superior Court Judge Issac Borenstein, who forbade him from being around children.

“What happened to the little girl wasn’t right,” said McMahon’s defense attorney, Joseph Machera, “but my belief is that if they had put this priest on the couch he never would have gone looking for her in her bedroom.”

Prosecutor Jeanmarie Carroll said the sexual abuse occurred between the summers of 1967 and 1970, when McMahon left St. Mary’s Church to become a Navy chaplain in the Vietnam War.

The parents of the victim, who was 6 when McMahon first molested her and is now 44, “were very involved with the local parish,” Carroll said. “Father McMahon was a frequent visitor in her family’s home.

Posted by kshaw at May 12, 2006 11:40 AM