Priest Who Battled Removal over Sex Abuse Allegation Dies

Associated Press, carried in Boston Herald
May 16, 2008

LOWELL, Mass. - A Roman Catholic priest who fought his removal from a Lowell parish because of a decades-old allegation that he sexually abused a child has died at age 70.

A notice in the church bulletin at St. Patrick Church in Lowell says the Rev. D. George Spagnolia died on May 6. A memorial Mass is scheduled Saturday.

The Archdiocese of Boston removed Spagnolia and put him on administrative leave in 2002 after an allegation that he improperly touched a 14-year-old boy twice in 1971.

Spagnolia maintained his innocence. However, he admitted to lying about remaining celibate during an 18-year leave from the priesthood.

Prosecutors closed a review of the 1971 allegation without filing charges because too much time had passed under the statute of limitations.


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