Priest Accused of Child Rape Allegedly Also Had Adult Sex
By J.M. Lawrence and Jules Crittenden
January 19, 2002
A popular Haverhill priest charged with child rape Monday had already been placed on leave by the Archdiocese of Boston last summer after allegations arose that he had sex with an adult woman.
The Rev. Kelvin E. Iguabita was placed on a health leave in July after the archdiocese investigated a woman's report that she had consensual sex with the priest, archdiocesesan spokeswoman Donna Morrissey said yesterday.
The adult sex allegation was unrelated to the later child rape charge, Morrissey said.
"Prior to learning of this (Nov. 16) allegation we had no knowledge of any allegation regarding sexual abuse of a minor by Father Iguabita," Morrissey said.
Iguabita sought a leave of absence from his post at the Metropolitan Tribunal of Boston in September after being ordered to take the health leave and asked to undergo an assessment. He then failed to respond to repeated efforts by a church official to contact him, Morrissey said.
Morrissey discussed the earlier church action on Iguabita after being approached by the Herald about a news report quoting the pastor of Iguabita's former parish in Haverhill.
The Rev. Dennis T. Nason told The Eagle-Tribune of Lawrence he was asked in June by an archdiocesan official whether he knew of any sex allegations against Iguabita. Nason said he truthfully told the caller he knew of none. He said he forgot the matter until Iguabita was arrested Monday on charges he raped a then-15-year-old girl from the All Saints Parish between August and December 2000. He has pleaded innocent and is free on $ 15,000 bail.
"We are hurting, we are wounded, we are sad, but this is nothing in comparison to the people who have been sexually abused," Nason wrote in his church bulletin for this Sunday. Bernard Cardinal Law announced a new policy Jan. 9 that requires clergy and others within the church to report allegations of sexual abuse.
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