PORTLAND, Maine — A former Roman Catholic priest, who previously spent a decade in a Massachusetts prison for the rape of an altar boy, was formally charged with 29 counts of gross sexual misconduct in a Maine court Monday.
The York County grand jury indicted Ronald Paquin, 74, for his alleged crimes against children between the ages of 11 and 14 in the late 1980s at a “seasonal location” in Kennebunk, according to a Wednesday statement from the town police.
Paquin, a prominent figure in the sex abuse scandal uncovered by the Boston Globe in the early 2000s, pleaded guilty in 2002 to the repeated rape of a Haverhill, Massachusetts, altar boy.
Paquin was released in 2015 because officials found that he no longer met “the legal criteria for sexual dangerousness,” the Globe reported.
The priest reportedly intended to go to a Boston shelter for older men when he was released from prison.
The Kennebunk police credited “two courageous victims” with helping to indict Paquin and said a warrant would be issued for his arrest, after which he will be brought to Maine for court proceedings.
“I am glad that we were able to present a case that hopefully brings the victims some type of peace in their future and holds the offender accountable for these horrific crimes,” said Police Chief Craig Sanford.
Paquin was among the priests depicted in the Oscar-winning film “Spotlight.” Some of the dialogue in the brief scene depicting him in the film was taken directly from what he told Globe reporters in 2001.
“Sure, I fooled around. But I never raped anyone, and I never felt gratified myself,” he reportedly said at the time.
The Archdiocese of Boston did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. A lawyer for Paquin could not be reached immediately.