Bishop Accountability
 
 

Fall River Resources – October 13–19, 2003

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Cops Hunt Child Rapist
Sexual predator flees Bridgewater

By Thomas Caywood
Boston Herald
October 14, 2003

A child rapist locked up indefinitely 19 years ago as a "sexually dangerous person" was on the lam last night after he broke out of the Massachusetts Treatment Center in Bridgewater late Sunday.

John McIntyre, 40, who was moved earlier this year to less secure housing inside the perimeter for a pre-release transitional program, lowered himself from a second-floor window on an electrical cord and then apparently scaled an 18-foot, razor wire-topped fence sometime between inmate counts at 9:30 p.m. and 11 p.m., authorities said.

[Photo Caption - John McIntyre.]

"He is a very dangerous man. It's a very scary thing for him to be out loose right now," said Paula Erickson, a former therapist at the center who treated the fugitive child predator.

The former Worcester resident was civilly committed to the high-security state treatment center in 1984 after he pleaded guilty in Worcester County of molesting a child younger than 14, raping a child younger than 16, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and kidnapping. McIntyre had kidnapped a 13-year-old boy in Auburn, drove him to Oxford and raped him, according to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

"The court has found him to be sexually dangerous. I would consider him dangerous," state Department of Correction Commissioner Michael Maloney said as correction officers stood sentry at intersections and bridges around the center in Bridgewater and Middleboro and combed the surrounding woods with dogs.

Although he was still branded sexually dangerous, McIntyre was moved in March, based on his good behavior and recommendations from treatment staff, to the Community Transition House - a small white house on the prison campus - as a first step to acclimating him for possible release one day. Maloney said he had a spotless discipline record and had never attempted escape before he vanished Sunday.

"He was compliant with his treatment goals. He had a good institutional record. He had prior recommendations to the court that he be considered for release," Maloney said, adding that few inmates are ever selected for the transitional program.

"We certainly don't take that responsibility frivolously," Maloney said. "Of 565 inmates in this correctional facility, there's only five that were assigned to that unit."

The remaining four participants in the program were put back in the general inmate population. It was the first escape from the center since 1990, Maloney said.

Maloney couldn't say why McIntyre ran now after nearly two decades behind bars.

McIntyre's family issued a statement through his attorney, John G. Swomley, begging the fugitive to surrender. "We are worried for your safety," the family said. "We care about you and hope you can get to a safe place where you can call your lawyer and arrange to turn yourself in. We love you."

Rick Keogh of North Reading was driving his son to a hockey game at Bridgewater Ice Arena across the street from the treatment center when he heard on the radio a child rapist was loose.

"He's not getting out of my sight," Keogh said of his son. "That's sick."

Erickson said McIntyre was counseled at the center by the Rev. Donald Turlick, a Falmouth priest who has come under fire for counseling Paul Nolin. Nolin, who is accused of killing a Falmouth golf course employee last month, was counseled by Turlick at the Bridgewater center while Nolin was serving 18 years for raping a 10-year-old boy.

Jessica Heslam contributed to this report.

Priests may be shielded by law
Authorities may not be able to force clergy members to reveal discussions with Paul R. Nolin, unless the accused killer consents

By Amanda Lehmert
Cape Cod Times
October 16, 2003

http://www.capecodonline.com/cctimes/priestsmay16.htm

If investigators want to find out what two local priests know about the murder of East Falmouth resident Jonathan Wessner, the accused killer will have to give his permission first.

Massachusetts state law allows priests to keep confidential what is told to them by someone in confession or seeking spiritual guidance.

The Revs. Bernard Kelly, 70, and Donald Turlick, 68, were friends of Paul R. Nolin, 39, a convicted child rapist who is accused of the kidnapping and murder of Wessner, 20.

The three met socially and sometimes went out to dinner together, said Kathleen English, a Falmouth attorney who is advising Turlick.

Nolin's attorney says investigators are trying to get Kelly to violate his penitent privilege with Nolin to shed more light on what led up to Wessner's murder and what happened after the man was killed.

Last week, Kelly was suspended from St. Joseph's in Woods Hole after he apparently was uncooperative with investigators. Fall River Bishop George Coleman urged Kelly to cooperate with the police and also put Kelly on administrative leave pending the completion of the murder investigation. Kelly had been the pastor at St. Joseph's since 1997.

Sources say Kelly was involved in a sexual relationship with Nolin, who worked as a handyman at the church in addition to being an apprentice plumber. Nolin's attorney said his client and Kelly were just friends.

But conversations between Nolin and the two priests as friends in social situations may not be privileged because Nolin may not have been seeking spiritual guidance, said Daniel Shea, a Worcester attorney who represents several alleged clergy abuse victims.

Wessner's body was found buried under rocks on a Woods Hole beach Oct. 3. Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe confirmed yesterday that Wessner was killed at a location other than where his body was found.

Wessner's blood-stained Jeep was found in the parking lot of a Brockton supermarket a few days after he disappeared. He was last seen leaving a party with Nolin in the early hours of Sept. 20.

It is still unclear who drove the Jeep to Brockton or, if Nolin did, how he got back to Falmouth. Law enforcement officials will not answer any questions about the investigation.

During his arraignment in Falmouth District Court, Nolin pleaded innocent to charges that he kidnapped and murdered Wessner and he is being held without bail. He is expected to be indicted by a grand jury in the next two weeks.

Kelly was interviewed by investigators after Wessner disappeared after attending a party at Nolin's home at 17 Nye Road, Falmouth. The priest was interviewed again after Wessner's body was found.

But Shea said state law says priests shall not be allowed to disclose a confession made to him in his professional character.

For the Catholic church, that privilege covers what is told to a priest in confession, Shea said.

State law goes on to cover more general communications, saying that a priest - or a rabbi or other minister - cannot testify if a parishioner has told him something when "seeking religious or spiritual advice or comfort."

That part of the law is open to more interpretation, Shea said.

"The privilege is owned by the person who is doing the disclosure. If Nolin asserts the privilege, then the priests can't talk."

Kelly, who owns a home and horse farm in on Route 6A in Cummaquid, could not be reached for comment last night.

"(Father Kelly) knows that privilege exists and he knows he can't divulge any information that was given to him ... in the context of spiritual guidance," said Robert Nolan, Nolin's attorney.

"There is a priest-penitent privilege, and that should not be broken and I think the commonwealth is going to be attempting to do that."

Nolan said his client was a parishioner at Kelly's church, but other parishioners said they had never seen Nolin at Mass before.

Turlick, a retired priest and psychotherapist, described himself to the Times a few weeks ago as Nolin's mentor. He told the Times that he helped Nolin adjust to society after his release from prison in July 2000. Nolin had served 18 years of a 20-year sentence.

Turlick was a priest assigned to the Bridgeport, Conn., diocese but he got permission to leave parish work there to become a professor at Emmanuel College in Boston in 1974. He also became a psychotherapist that same year. He taught at the college for 20 years.

Nolin was convicted in 1982 of luring a 10-year-old Lowell boy into some woods where he tied the boy's hands behind his back and raped him three times.

When Nolin got out of prison, he moved to Mashpee and rented a basement apartment in Turlick's home. Nolin moved to Falmouth a year ago.

While Nolin was in the Massachusetts Treatment Center for the sexually dangerous in Bridgewater, Turlick was one of his therapists in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Turlick testified at the hearing at which a judge decided Nolin was no longer sexually dangerous and released him from the center. Nolin was then transferred to the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Norfolk to serve the remainder of his sentence.

English, the lawyer who spoke on Turlick's behalf, said Turlick only testified about how cooperative Nolin was while he was Turlick's patient.

Turlick could not be reached for comment yesterday. English said Tuesday that he did not want to talk to reporters and that he left the Cape.

Kelly and Turlick have known each other since they went to seminary together at St. Mary's in Baltimore, Md., in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

In 2002, Nolin's birthday party was held at Kelly's Cummaquid home, English said.



Flaws hurt sex offender tracking
Cape police departments vary on how current they keep their information from the state board

By Robin Lord
Cape Cod Times
October 17, 2003

http://www.capecodonline.com/special/sexregistry/flawshurt17.htm

DENNIS - The Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry can confuse the police, who are in charge of keeping track of those listed in the state database.

A check of Cape Cod police departments last week revealed inconsistencies with how proactive and aware they are about notifying the public of state-classified sex offenders living in town.

The problem was highlighted when Dennis police provided the name of a man to the Cape Cod Times who has not yet been classified by the state Sex Offender Registry Board.

Dennis police gave two names of men who have been classified as Level 3 offenders, indicating they are considered the most dangerous offenders. Police are required to notify the public, through the media and any other way they deem appropriate, if they have Level 3 offenders living or working in their towns.

One of the men whose name was provided by the Dennis police, Steven Caspary, has not yet been classified by the Sex Offender Registry Board. While he is registered with the state as a sex offender, his case has not yet come before the registry board for a classification. No date has yet been set for the hearing.

Caspary, 53, who is no longer living in Dennis, was convicted in Barnstable District Court of four counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 in separate court cases dating back to 2001. All of the offenses occurred in Sandwich.

He was given a 21/2-year sentence, which was suspended, and was placed on probation until 2005.

Dennis Police Detective Sgt. Bernard Wunderlich said yesterday Caspary's name was given as a Level 3 offender in error. He said he is in charge of the sex offender information and was on vacation last week.

Cape departments vary as to how readily available they keep the sex offender information. Most have one department member in charge of it, while some have it posted in the station and on their Web site.

Two callers to the Cape Cod Times after an Oct. 12 story listing the Level 3 offenders living on Cape Cod questioned the accuracy of two addresses. One caller said Frank Saragoza was not living at 40 Wayland Road in Hyannis. The other said Curtis H. Linnell was not living at 39 Hitching Post Lane in Centerville.

Barnstable Police Sgt. Sean Sweeney said yesterday that is the first he has heard of the discrepancies. He said those are the latest addresses they have for the two men, and an officer will have to visit the addresses to confirm whether they are living there.

Sex offenders are required by law to notify the Sex Offender Registry Board 10 days prior to moving from a confirmed address. But the board does not then notify the local police departments, Sweeney said.

Barnstable police records keeper Kathy Hinckley said one of the frustrations of police departments is that the law establishing the sex offenders registry was unfunded. Local police are getting no extra state funding to enforce the law.



Wessner was stabbed, beaten in boathouse
The man charged in the murder was said to be familiar with the area because of his job

By Amanda Lehmert
Cape Cod Times
October 17, 2003

http://www.capecodonline.com/special/sexregistry/wessnerwas17.htm

WOODS HOLE - Jonathan Wessner's killer stabbed and beat him to death in a small boathouse 50 feet from the secluded beach where his body was found, according to a source close to the police investigation.

Accused murderer Paul R. Nolin, a convicted child rapist, was familiar with the area because he worked nearby as a plumber's assistant, the source said.

Nolin, 39, of Falmouth, has pleaded innocent to kidnapping and murdering the 20-year-old East Falmouth man. He is being held without bail.

As more details of the murder surface, so are the frustrations of police as they try to question local priests who had befriended the sex offender.

When questioned by investigators two weeks ago, the Rev. Bernard Kelly of St. Joseph's cited the priest-penitent privilege, according to the source. Shortly after that, Kelly was suspended from the Woods Hole parish by Fall River Diocese Bishop George Coleman.

Police would not comment on what motive Nolin would have had for killing Wessner, a 2001 Falmouth High School graduate and aspiring golf pro.

Murder scene

The scene of the murder is a small gray building used for dry boat storage. It has sliding wooden doors on two sides and a small deck facing the beach. Yesterday, the doors were padlocked shut.
An off-duty police officer alerted investigators Oct. 3 to a gathering of shorebirds on the beach behind the Whitney estate on Church Street. It was here Wessner's body was found.

The estate, a complex of four homes and cottages, includes a large dock on the east side of Little Harbor.

Yesterday afternoon, a sprinkling of lime marked the spot where investigators found Wessner's body among the piled-stone sea wall.

The area is shielded from the Coast Guard station directly across the harbor by a large boulder.

Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe has confirmed that the place where Wessner's body was found was not the murder scene.

It is a few feet south of the sea wall, up onto a small beach and 21 old stone steps to the unassuming wooden boathouse where Wessner was killed.

O'Keefe said police found the main crime scene within hours after finding Wessner's body around midnight Oct. 3.

Located just over the Whitney property line on a piece of land owned by the 55 Church Street Realty Trust, the boathouse is enveloped by pine trees and bushes on three sides.

Only a small footpath winding into the dense bushes connects the boathouse to a nearby home, whose roof peeks out over the foliage.

Carroll Pierce, one of the trustees of the 55 Church Street property, said she had no comment when reached yesterday at her Boston home.

Penitent privilege

Wessner was last seen Sept. 20 after leaving a party with Nolin. Wessner's blood-stained Jeep was later found in a Brockton supermarket parking lot.
Nolin was arrested Oct. 2.

Investigators are being tight-lipped about the details of the murder and the evidence they have to hold Nolin as they prepare to seek an indictment in the next few weeks.

Among those questioned by police are the Rev. Kelly and the Rev. Donald Turlick, both friends of Nolin.

The state's penitent privilege law prevents clergy members from revealing any information given to them by a parishioner in a confessional manner, or while seeking spiritual guidance, unless the parishioner consents.

Nolin's lawyer says investigators have tried to get Kelly to violate the penitent privilege. "That should not be broken and I think the commonwealth is going to be attempting to do that," attorney Robert Nolan has said.

The two priests were friends of Nolin, who worked as a handyman at St. Joseph's, and the three met socially and sometimes went out to dinner, according to attorney Kathleen English, who has been advising Turlick.

A retired priest and psychotherapist, Turlick helped Nolin to reintegrate into society after serving 18 years in jail for raping a 10-year-old Lowell boy in 1982. Turlick was one of Nolin's therapists at the state's treatment center for the sexually dangerous in Bridgewater. When he was released from prison in July 2000, Nolin rented a basement apartment in Turlick's home.

Though Catholic priests are prohibited from revealing parishioners' confessions, social conversations between Nolin, Kelly and Turlick may not be protected under state law, according to Daniel Shea, a Worcester attorney who has represented plaintiffs in clergy sex abuse cases. Nolin would have to show that he was seeking spiritual guidance from Kelly and Turlick to invoke the privileged, Shea said.

"The privilege is owned by the person who is doing the disclosure," he said. "If Nolin asserts the privilege, then the priests can't talk."



Clergy confidentiality may affect murder case

Associated Press, carried in the Standard-Times, p. A8
October 17, 2003.

FALMOUTH -- A state law governing confidentiality between clergy and parishioners may make it difficult for investigators to question two priests who may have knowledge about the murder of a 20-year-old Falmouth man.

Information given to clergy during confession or by people seeking spiritual guidance may remain confidential under the "penitent privilege" law, which could frustrate police efforts to investigate the murder of Jonathan Wessner, the Cape Cod Times reported.

The Revs. Bernard Kelly and Donald Turlick are friends of Paul R. Nolin, the convicted child molester accused of kidnapping and killing Wessner last month. Nolin has pleaded innocent and is being held without bail.

Nolin's lawyer says investigators have tried to get Kelly to violate Nolin's penitent privilege. "That should not be broken and I think the commonwealth is going to be attempting to do that," attorney Robert Nolan said.

Kelly, the pastor of St. Joseph's Church since 1997, was suspended last week from the Woods Hole parish by Fall River Bishop George Coleman after he was allegedly uncooperative with investigators.

The two priests were friends of Nolin, who worked as a handyman at St. Joseph's, and the three met socially and sometimes went out to dinner, according to attorney Kathleen English, who has been advising Turlick.

A retired priest and psychotherapist, Turlick helped Nolin to reintegrate into society after serving 18 years in jail for raping a 10-year-old Lowell boy in 1982. Turlick was of Nolin's therapists at the state's treatment center for the sexually dangerous, and upon his release from prison in July 2000, Nolin rented a basement apartment in Turlick's home.

Wessner was last seen leaving a party with Nolin on Sept. 20, police said. His bloodstained Jeep was found in a supermarket parking lot in Brockton a few days later and his body was discovered Oct. 3 on a rocky Woods Hole beach.

Catholic priests are not permitted to disclose what is said in confession unless the parishioner gives permission for that confidentiality to be broken, according to Daniel Shea, a Worcester attorney who has represented plaintiffs in clergy sex abuse cases.

But social conversations between Nolin, Kelly and Turlick may not be privileged unless Nolin can show that he was seeking spiritual guidance, Shea said.

"The privilege is owned by the person who is doing the disclosure," he said. "If Nolin asserts the privilege, then the priests can't talk."


 
 

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