Police Search Offices of Former Bishop
Officials Are Investigating Abuse Charges against Bishop Thomas Dupre [Springfield MA]
March 5, 2004

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- State police searched the chancery offices of the Springfield Diocese Friday afternoon, emerging with a box of documents and several manila envelopes.

The search comes one day after Hampden County District Attorney William Bennett said he'll seek sex abuse charges against retired Springfield Bishop Thomas Dupre.

Interim diocese administrator Monsignor Richard Sniezyk said investigators obtained a warrant to search the bishop's residence and that church officials were cooperating.

State Police declined to comment on what they were looking for.

Dupre is accused of plying two altar boys with alcohol and molesting them while he was a parish priest in the 1970's.

If Dupre is indicted, he would be the first bishop charged in the sex abuse scandal that erupted in the Roman Catholic church two years ago.

Dupre stepped down last month citing health reasons, one day after The Republican newspaper of Springfield confronted him with the allegations.


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