Cape Cod Times [Hyannis MA]
August 31, 2021
By Jessica Hill
BARNSTABLE — The trial for the Catholic priest with Cape ties charged with rape is still set to take place at the beginning of October.
Fairhaven resident Mark Hession, charged with two counts of rape, indecent assault and battery on a child 14 and under and intimidating a witness, will face a jury trial starting Oct. 5.
Hession pleaded not guilty in January to the charges. Hession served at 12 institutions in the Cape Cod and Fall River areas, including as parish priest from 2000 to 2014 at Our Lady of Victory Church in Centerville.
In a pretrial conference Aug. 30 in Barnstable Superior Court, Cape and Islands Assistant District Attorney Sharon Thibeault told Judge Mark Gildea that prosecutors were ready for the trial date. She said she is waiting for data obtained from the victim’s phone as well as contact information for all witnesses on the witness list.
A final pretrial hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 14. A hearing on motions in limine, which allows the lawyers to discuss excluding certain pieces of evidence, was scheduled for Sept. 29.
Hession allegedly assaulted the victim with the “intent to commit rape and did commit rape upon such person” on multiple occasions between 2005 and 2008 in Barnstable County, according to the redacted indictments obtained by the Cape Cod Times.
Hession was ordained in 1984 and in 2009 delivered the homily at the funeral for U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy in Boston. On the Cape, besides Our Lady of Victory, Hession served at Our Lady of the Assumption in Osterville; St. Joan of Arc church in Orleans; and St. Patrick Church in Falmouth.
Off-Cape, he served at St. Patrick Parish in Wareham; Holy Name Church and Holy Rosary Chapel, both in Fall River; St. Mary’s Parish in New Bedford; Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River; St. Joseph Church in Taunton; Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Seekonk; and Holy Family parish in East Taunton.
His service record is according to the Diocese of Fall River’s list published in January of publicly or credibly accused religious leaders connected to the diocese.