Priest Arrested Again

MetroWest Daily News [Massachusetts]
September 24, 2006

Worcester -- A suspended priest who was arrested earlier this year after allegedly assaulting his mother and sister has been arrested again on similar charges.

The Rev. Joseph Coonan, 58, was arrested Friday and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Dudley District Court on charges including domestic assault and battery on a person over 65, his mother, and a disabled person, his sister.

He also faces a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a 12-pack of Pepsi.

Worcester police Sgt. Anthony Saad told The Telegram & Gazette of Worcester that both women had superficial injuries.

Police were called to the residence by a neighbor, who had been contacted by Coonan's sister, Patricia Loiselle.

Coonan lives with his sister and mother, Mabel Coonan. He was removed from ministry at St. John's Roman Catholic Church in August 2002 by former Worcester Diocese Bishop Daniel Reilly after allegations that Coonan committed sexual misconduct in the 1970s, before he became a priest.

In February, Coonan was arrested on charges including domestic assault and battery and intimidating a witness after another dispute between Coonan, his sister and his mother.

In August, both women filed statements with the court asking that the charges be dropped, and the charges were later dismissed.


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