Expert: ex-priest, now 72, still a danger

The Salem News

Friday, July 31, 2015

SALEM — Normally, former priest Ronald Paquin’s age, 72, would make him statistically far less likely to re-offend, a psychologist testified during a hearing Friday in Salem Superior Court.
But the defrocked Haverhill priest, who completed a 12- to 15-year prison term this spring for rape and abuse of a child, a boy he abused for three years, is no ordinary sex offender, Dr. Gregg Belle testified.

While taking part in group sex offender therapy at the Massachusetts Treatment Center in Bridgewater in 2012, Belle testified, the then-70-year-old Paquin began “grooming” another inmate, described as a “young-looking male,” in apparent hopes of pursuing a sexual relationship with him.

“He’s a statistical outlier,” said Belle.

That’s one of the reasons that Essex County prosecutors are hoping to keep Paquin, the former pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in Haverhill, civilly committed as a sexually dangerous person for as long as possible.

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