Molestation Suits Pile up against Two Defrocked Priests

By Jack Sullivan
Boston Herald
June 14, 2000

Seven more people filed suit yesterday against two defrocked Catholic priests, charging the former clerics used their positions and family friendships to make sexual advances when the plaintiffs were children.

Three people filed complaints against accused pedophile John J. Geoghan, bringing the total to 65 victims who have lodged civil charges against the former pastor. Four people, all males, filed complaints against Paul J. Mahan, raising the total of his alleged victims to six.

According to attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who is representing all the alleged victims, the new complaints against Geoghan, 66, claim the incidents occurred at various times during Geoghan's 30-year tenure as pastor and parish priest in and around Boston.

Mahan allegedly molested the boys between 1969 and 1982 while he was assigned to St. Ann's Church in Dorchester and then St. Joseph's Church in Needham.

In addition to Geoghan and Mahan, the suits allege their supervisors knew of the then-priests' actions but failed to correct the situation.

John Walsh, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Boston declined to comment.

The archdiocese has reportedly paid millions in out-of-court settlements on dozens of claims against Geoghan.

One of Geoghan's victims spoke yesterday for the first time. Patrick McSorley, 26, of Hyde Park said that when his father died in 1986, Geoghan came over to the house to offer condolences to the family.

With the permission of McSorley's mother, Geoghan took the then-12-year-old for an ice cream. On the ride home, McSorley said, Geoghan began fondling him.

"I blocked it out for years because I wouldn't know how to tell somebody a priest had done something," he said.

Geoghan is awaiting trial on criminal charges in Suffolk and Middlesex courts.

He was charged with two counts each of rape of a child under 16 and indecent assault on a child under 14 in Suffolk and one count of indecent assault in Middlesex.

Mahan also worked at St. Matthew's Church in Dorchester from 1983 through 1994 but was removed when allegations arose that he sexually molested boys.

Mahan was sent to a treatment center in Washington, D.C. and another in Ontario, Canada, according to a previous suit against him by a New Jersey man.


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