Former Somerville Priest arraigned

On September 10, 2012, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

An Episcopal Priest, formerly of St. James Episcopal Church in Somerville, was arraigned today on assault to rape a child and indecent assault and battery on a child charges, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone informed the public today.

Reverend Paul A. LaCharite, 65, of Boston, was arraigned in Somerville District Court on one count of assault to rape a child and three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14.  The Commonwealth requested that the defendant bail be set at $25,000 cash bail with conditions the he wear a GPS monitoring device, stay away from victim’s home and work, no unsupervised contact with children under 16, no work or volunteer work with children under 16, and that he cooperate with the church’s disciplinary process.  Somerville District Court Judge Maurice Flynn ordered the defendant’s bail set at $10,000 cash bail with the following conditions of release: defendant must stay away from victim’s home and work, have no unsupervised contact with children under the age of 16, surrender his passport, report to probation as deemed appropriate by the Probation Department, not possess any firearms or dangerous weapons, must refrain from excessive use of alcohol or narcotics without prescription, and abide by any and all restraining orders if applicable.

The defendant’s next court date is October 22 for a probable cause hearing.

According to authorities, the victim and his family were long time parishioners at St. James Episcopal Church in Somerville.  In the 1990s, beginning when the victim was in elementary school, the defendant, a priest at the church, began inappropriately touching the victim in his office.  The defendant’s conduct is alleged to have progressed over a ten year period to include several indecent assault and batteries and assaults with the intent rape a child, with the abuse finally ceasing when the victim was a teenager due to the defendant leaving St. James.

The victim came forward to authorities to reveal the defendant’s alleged long-time abuse of him last week.  An investigation was immediately conducted into the allegations and the defendant was arrested by Somerville Police on Friday evening.

The investigation remains ongoing.  Members of the public who believe that they may have information that could be helpful to the investigation can call Somerville Police at 617-625-1212 x 7220 or the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office Child Abuse Unit at 781-897-8400.  The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts is cooperating fully with the investigation.

These charges are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The prosecutor assigned to this case is Assistant District Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, Deputy Chief of the Child Abuse Unit.  The Victim Witness Advocate is Susie Marshall.  The Child Interview Specialist is Katie Nugent.  This case is being investigated by the Somerville Police Department and members of the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office’s Child Abuse Unit.



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