Priest Paroled, to Start Third Term
By Kathryn Marchocki
April 20, 2016
The state adult parole board on Tuesday granted a formerly high-ranking Catholic priest's request for parole after he served his minimum two-year sentence on two of his 2014 theft convictions.
The Rev. Edward J. Arsenault III, 54, was paroled to his third state prison sentence, which he will begin serving on April 21, the adult parole board's executive assistant Andrea Goldberg said. He will be eligible for release in two years.
Arsenault, who remains a Catholic priest, was not present at the parole board hearing at the New Hampshire State Prison in Concord. He was represented by his attorney, Cathy Green, of Manchester, and communicated with the board on a conference telephone call by speaker phone, Goldberg said.
"He said that he was doing well and had no disciplinary" issues, Goldberg said after the brief parole hearing. Arsenault has been serving his sentence at the Cheshire County House of Corrections in Westmoreland since May 22, 2014, a state corrections official has said.
Arsenault was president and CEO of the St. Luke Institute in Maryland - one of the premier treatment centers for clergy and religious leaders in the country - when allegations surfaced in 2013 that he misused funds and had an inappropriate relationship with an adult man. He resigned the St. Luke post and Manchester Bishop Peter Libasci placed him on administrative leave while the criminal investigation into the allegations ensued.
Arsenault pleaded guilty on April 23, 2014, to three felony theft charges for stealing nearly $300,000 from Catholic Medical Center, the diocese, and the estate of the late Monsignor John Molan, who had been his mentor.
He was sentenced to concurrent four- to 10-year sentences with two years suspended from the minimum of each on two of the convictions. He will complete these terms on April 21 and immediately begin serving a third four- to 10-year sentence with two years suspended from the minimum that day, Goldberg said.
The diocese initiated the process of laicizing - or defrocking - Arsenault after his conviction. The Vatican has not yet made a determination, a diocesan spokesman has said.
Kathryn Marchocki can be reached at 594-6589, firstname.lastname@example.org or @Telegraph_KMar.