Molest Victim's Family Sues Archdiocese, Former Priest

By Andrea Estes
Boston Herald
January 14, 1999

A former Catholic priest whom the Boston Archdiocese sent to two treatment centers for pedophiles has been accused of molesting a young boy, according to a suit filed yesterday.

The former Rev. Paul Mahan, who worked at St. Matthew's Parish in Dorchester from 1983 through 1994, allegedly fondled a New Jersey boy who was 11 when the sexual advances began, said the suit, filed by Joseph Abromowitz, the family's lawyer. He has since been defrocked.

The boy, who is related to the priest, visited the cleric during the summers and helped fix up the parish school, the complaint alleges.

"The relevant sexual behavior in which defendant Father Mahan engaged in with the plaintiff include, but are not limited to, repeated explicit sexual fondling and rubbing of the plaintiff's body, including the plaintiff's genitals," the complaint says. The family is suing Mahan and church officials.

According to the suit, Mahan was removed from the church in 1993 and sent to treatment centers in Washington, D.C., and later in Ontario, Canada. Nevertheless, the complaint says Mahan continued to visit the boy and his family and the abuse continued. The sexual activity went on for about five years, the suit says.

Archdiocese spokesman John Walsh declined comment on the suit, saying, "the matter is under litigation.

"By policy and by common sense we can't discuss the case. We take our policies and procedures very seriously (regarding alleged sexual abuse by priests) and in all cases we try to the best of our ability to follow these procedures meticulously."

The archdiocese has already paid out millions of dollars in cash settlements to more than a dozen alleged victims of the former Rev. John Geoghan, who was accused of molesting dozens of young parishioners during a 30-year career with the church.

He has since been defrocked.


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