|No Medical Parole for Rapist Ex-priest
By Paula Tracy
New Hampshire Union Leader
November 19, 2010
A defrocked Manchester priest convicted of sexually assaulting a boy under the age of 13 sought but did not receive a medical parole yesterday.
Francis A. Talbot, 74, who has been in the infirmary at the prison in Berlin with heart disease, depression, diabetes and dementia, did receive parole to one of his three consecutive sentences for aggravated felonious sexual assault, but he did not get a medical parole out of the prison system yesterday.
John Eckert, administrative assistant to the New Hampshire Adult Parole Board, said all seven of the members of the parole board must weigh in on such paroles and only three board members were presiding yesterday.
He said it is likely that all seven will convene in January to consider Talbot's medical parole request.
Talbot, a Manchester native, worked at the Youth Development Center, the Veterans Association hospital in Manchester and at the prison as a priest.
He was convicted of three counts in Hillsborough County alleging that during 1990 and 1991 he sexually abused a boy whose mother and aunt directed him to work at Talbot's home at 509 Lincoln St., doing chores.
The county attorney at the time, however, said he might have sought 500 individual indictments for rape of the boy which occurred mostly in his early teens until he was physically strong enough to fight the priest off.
The boy, who came forward and identified himself as Cody Goodwin, first began to work at Talbot's home after the priest was released from the hospital and could not do chores. Eventually the boy began to sleep at the priest's house and during those overnights, the boy was assaulted.
The record indicates that Goodwin was told he "should never go against a priest's wishes and no one would ever believe him if he disclosed it."
It also indicates the boy told authorities that Father Francis told him he would kill himself if the boy ever disclosed what he was doing to him.
Talbot accepted a capped plea on five charges and received three consecutive sentences on rape of a child under 13 and received a 3 1/2- to 7-year sentence on two and three to six years on a third.
In all, the capped plea amounted to 10 to 20 years in prison, when he was convicted in 2002.
He has been denied parole three times since 2006 with counselors all saying Talbot posed too great a danger.
But due to his "severe declining health, counselor and case manager Pamela Florissant recommended that Talbot be given a medical parole, which would allow him to go to the publicly financed Glencliff Home for the Elderly, once an opening there was established.
Florissant wrote that Talbot "will not refer to his crime other than the 'incident.' He did however speak of the sin of his crime. In talking with Mr. Talbot, I got the impression that he minimizes the victim."
"I am not a bad guy ... I just got swallowed up by loneliness," he told investigators.
Goodwin collapsed in relief upon hearing Talbot admit to this guilt before Superior Court Judge Joseph Lynn in December 2002.
"I hope other people will find the strength to come forward and do what I did because it's the only way we will get these people off the street and in prison where they belong," he said at the announcement of the plea deal.
Goodwin went from being a good student to being unable to concentrate and has suffered life-long mental scars.
He settled a suit out of court and before that received a $200,000 payment from the Diocese of Manchester.
Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.