March 27, 2020
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Defrocked priest convicted of sex abuse in Maine appeals conviction

Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Former priest Ronald Paquin arrives for sentencing York County Superior Court in Alfred in this May 23, 2019, file photo.

If you or someone you know needs resources or support related to sexual violence, contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 24/7 hotline at 800-871-7741.

A defrocked Massachusetts priest is appealing his conviction of sexually abusing a young boy during trips to Maine in the 1980s.

A judge ordered Ronald Paquin, 77, to serve 16 years in state prison in Maine in May after he was found guilty of 11 counts of gross sexual misconduct in 2018. He had already served more than 10 years in prison in Massachusetts for sexually abusing another altar boy in that state.

In a hearing on Wednesday, Paquin’s attorney argued that the trial judge in the Maine case should have required the prosecutor to disclose the details of the victim’s criminal record, the Portland Press Herald reports.

He also said the judge should have barred an expert witness from testifying that male victims often wait to disclose sexual abuse they’ve experienced.

Paquin was charged with assaulting two boys between 1985 and 1988 in Kennebunkport when the victims were 14 years of age or younger. He was released from prison in 2015 after completing his sentence in Massachusetts and then taken into custody in Maine.

Paquin was portrayed in the movie “Spotlight” about the Boston Globe investigation into abuse by Roman Catholic clergy. His case was a critical piece of a sexual abuse scandal that consumed the Archdiocese of Boston.

Paquin has said he is a victim of sexual abuse himself. His attorneys previously read a statement he wrote in which he said he spent years “pretending that I was living a happy life with no problems,” when he was actually traumatized by the abuse.

 


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