Priest Convicted of Rape Dies While in State Prison

By Kathryn Marchocki
Manchester Union Leader
February 23, 2005

A Roman Catholic priest convicted last year of raping three altar boys at a Dover parish decades ago died yesterday, nearly 10 months after he began serving a more than 40-year state prison term.

The Rev. Joseph T. Maguire, 73, died of natural causes at Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin about 4:40 a.m., state corrections department spokesman Jeff Lyons said.

Maguire had been incarcerated at the medium-security Northern New Hampshire Correctional Facility in Berlin and was transferred to the hospital Monday, Lyons said.

Maguire admitted in court last year to sexually abusing two altar boys at St. Joseph parish in Dover in the 1970s and 1980s and pleaded guilty to assaulting a third boy during the same period.

When sentenced May 3 on 36 counts of sexual abuse, Maguire's doctors said he suffered from congestive heart failure that likely would kill him within five months. He also had coronary disease, a kidney ailment and diabetes and received his sentence while sitting in a wheelchair and wearing a hospital gown.

Strafford County Superior Court Judge Peter Fauver ordered Maguire to serve at least 44 years in prison.

Maguire went to state prison May 3 and served most of his sentence at the Berlin facility, Lyons said.

"He was treated like any other inmate," he said.

Maguire spent three days at the Berlin hospital last month, returning to prison Jan. 31, Lyons said.

Maguire was barred from functioning as a priest in 1981 by then Bishop Odore Gendron, but never had been dismissed, said Diane Murphy Quinlan, diocesan chancellor.

"When Father Maguire was convicted, he apologized for the harm he caused young people and he repeated his regret on several occasions after that," Quinlan said.

She said the diocesan officials "will continue to do all we can to be of assistance to all who have been harmed as minors."

Last fall, another alleged victim came forward claiming Maguire abused him as an altar boy in Dover, said Manchester attorney Peter E. Hutchins. A civil claim has been filed against the diocese in that case, he said.


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