Ronald Paquin

ALFRED — Jury selection is scheduled to begin today for the trial of a former Catholic priest from Massachusetts facing 31 charges of gross sexual misconduct.

Ronald Paquin, 76, of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, was indicted last year on 15 counts of gross sexual misconduct, a Class A felony, and 16 counts of gross sexual misconduct, a Class B felony.

The alleged criminal acts took place at seasonal locations in Kennebunkport in the late 1980s, according to Kennebunkport Police Chief Craig Sanford in a press release issued in February 2017.

The alleged victims were 11 and 14 when Paquin began the alleged inappropriate criminal conduct, said Sanford.

Unless the court is closed due to snow, jury selection for Paquin’s trial is scheduled to begin today at York County Superior Court.

Paquin has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is currently at York County Jail.

Class A crimes are punishable by up to 30 years incarceration and a $50,000 fine. Class B crimes are punishable by up to 10 years incarceration and a $20,000 fine.

Sanford said the cases were referred to his department by the state Attorney General’s Office, which was approached by one of the alleged victims in 2011, according to the Portland Press Herald.

These are not the first such charges filed against Paquin.

Paquin was a central figure in the Boston Globe “Spotlight” investigation of clergy sex abuse.

In December 2002, Paquin became the first Boston clergyman to admit guilt in a criminal molestation case, and he pleaded guilty to three counts of raping a Haverhill, Massachusetts, altar boy, according to the Boston Globe. Paquin served about 12 years in prison on these charges.

Paquin was removed from priesthood by the Catholic Church in 2000, after the Boston Archdiocese received at least 18 complaints in two decades that he had sexually abused boys, according to the Boston Globe.

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 780-9015 or [email protected]

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: