Prosecutors move to have ex-priest declared ‘sexually dangerous’

Boston Globe

By John R. Ellement GLOBE STAFF JULY 30, 2015

A former Catholic priest who was at the center of the sexual abuse crisis in the Boston Archdiocese could remain in custody even though he has completed his prison sentence, as Essex prosecutors push for him to be declared a dangerous sexual predator.

Ronald H. Paquin pleaded guilty in 2002 and received a 12-to-15-year sentence for repeatedly raping a Haverhill altar boy between 1989 and 1992. He completed the sentence for three counts of rape of a child in late May, officials said, but remains in confinement until his status is resolved.

Facing the possibility that Paquin would be released, Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s office is moving to have the 72-year-old Paquin declared a “sexually dangerous person.” Blodgett filed a petition to keep Paquin locked up in the spring, before his sentence actually ended, the district attorney’s office said.

Such a designation allows for indefinite civil commitment at the Massachusetts Treatment Center at the Bridgewater Correctional Complex, where Paquin is currently being held.

The first step in the complex legal process to keep Paquin locked up begins Friday in Essex Superior Court, where prosecutors will ask a judge to hold him pending a mental health examination.

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