Grand Jury Indicts Former Altar Boy Coordinator Michael Walsh on Sex Abuse Charges
By Gintautas Dumcius
September 28, 2016
Michael Walsh, who once served as an altar boy coordinator at St. Brendan's Church in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, was arraigned Wednesday on charges of raping a child and indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14.
Just days away from turning 80 years old, Walsh pleaded not guilty to the charges in Suffolk Superior Court.
The clerk magistrate, Anne Kaczmarek, imposed conditions that included GPS monitoring, staying away from the victim and witnesses, no unsupervised contact with children under the age of 16, and surrendering his passport and remaining in Massachusetts.
A Suffolk County grand jury indicted Walsh on Sept. 16.
In a statement filed by prosecutors on Wednesday, Walsh allegedly used his position as an altar boy coordinator, as well as a coach with Cedar Grove Baseball, from Sept. 1988 through June 1991 to "gain access to, groom, and ultimately sexually abuse the alleged victim" when the victim was in the fourth, fifth and sixth grades.
"The alleged victim recalled the sexual abuse escalated over time from indecent groping and touching on multiple occasions to the defendant repeatedly raping him," the statement said.
"The defendant frequently took the alleged victim and other neighborhood boys out to eat and to the movies," the statement continued. "The defendant would drive the children around town in his car and drive them home to their individual houses."
The victim was also sexually abused in a New York hotel room during a baseball team field trip to Cooperstown, NY, according to the statement.
"The alleged victim first disclosed he was sexually abused to a close friend during his freshman year in college in 1997," the statement said. "Years later, on or about June 24, 2016, the alleged victim reported the sexual abuse to law enforcement."
Walsh went on to become a priest, but he was relieved of duties in 2002.
According to Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley's office, prosecutions involving child rape and indecent assault and battery on a child "based on a victim's testimony must be brought within 27 years of the offense."
But because Walsh left Massachusetts and lived outside the state, including in Florida and Michigan, the "proverbial clock was stopped" on statute of limitations, Conley's office said.