Connolly Teacher Cleared of Alcohol, Porn Charges

By Gregg M. Miliote
Herald News [Fall River MA]
September 2, 2004

FALL RIVER -- A Bishop Connolly High School teacher arrested last year on various charges including enticing a child, was exonerated of all charges Monday at Second District Court.

Sean P. Mullin, 23, of 26 Montgomery St., Lakeville, had been charged with selling/delivering liquor to a person younger than 21, attempting to commit a crime and three counts of distributing obscene material to a minor.

All charges against Mullin have been dismissed after the alleged victim, a former student in one of Mullinís religion classes, recanted his story and chose not to testify against Mullin.

Seekonk-based attorney Stephen Navega, who represented Mullin during the 14-month ordeal, said he recently filed a motion to dismiss the charges against his client based on independent evidence that the alleged victim made up the story.

Mullin was arrested by Fall River police last June and was immediately placed on administrative leave by the Diocese of Fall River, which runs the Roman Catholic high school.

The charges against Mullin --a much-beloved religion teacher, and speech and debate coach -- were based on allegations from one male student at Connolly.

Navega, who has been in close contact with Mullin, said his client is "relieved, but certainly not happy."

"This has all been very distressing for Sean. Heís a dedicated teacher who had his life interrupted in so many ways," Navega said. "This is really devastating from all points of view. The families of the boy and of Sean, the friends and the students at the high school have all been hurt badly by this.

"But Sean is fortunate that so many parents and students stood with him throughout this. They always knew he would be exonerated."

Navega said he is unsure whether Mullin will ask to be reinstated to the high school, but it still remains unclear whether Mullin was being paid while on administrative leave.

"Itís hard to go back to a place where some preconceived notions may already exist at the school," Navega said. "Only time will tell what Sean decides to do."

Calls placed to Bishop Connolly High School were not returned Tuesday afternoon. Also, calls placed to the Diocese of Fall River for a comment on the outcome of the case or a clarification on Mullinís status with the high school were not returned Tuesday.


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