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No let up in abuse revelations

Still dominating the news of anything "Catholic" in the secular media are further stories, and revelations on the abuse scandals. The Boston Globe reported yesterday the Rev. Ronald H. Paquin pleaded guilty on Tuesday to three counts of child rape and was sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison, becoming the first Boston Archdiocese priest to admit guilt in a criminal molestation case since the sex abuse scandal exploded in January. Other media are reporting on the case of a priest who appears to have committed suicide in New Hampshire after being accused of child abuse that occurred 30 years ago. Another story coming into focus is the situation in Los Angeles where the Statute of Limitations has been lifted for twelve months and it is expected there will be at least 200 lawsuits filed when the courts open after the New Year break.

Boston attorney Jeffrey A. Newman, who represents the victim in the case, described the turn of events as a "major step" in resolving an estimated 500 pending abuse claims against the archdiocese, since Paquin has agreed to testify against the church in many of those cases.

Paquin, an admitted child molester, was not removed from active ministry until two years ago, even though the archdiocese received at least 18 complaints in two decades that he had sexually abused young boys.

Newman, whose law firm represents about 300 of the additional alleged victims, said he expects Paquin to be a "key player" in providing information about the archdiocese's practice of transferring abusive priests. Paquin's defense attorney, Kevin Reddington, confirmed that Paquin "will be available to testify" in pending civil cases "against the almighty Roman Catholic Church."

Boston Globe "Priest pleads guilty to raping altar boy"
Christian Science Monitor: "LA now the flash point on priest abuse"

2 Jan 2003