6 More File Sex Assault Claims Vs. Ex-Priests

By Franci Richardson
Boston Herald
August 23, 2000

Six more alleged sexual assault victims have filed civil suits against two defrocked Catholic priests, bringing the total cases filed against accused pedophile John J. Geoghan to 67.

Three men are suing Geoghan, now 66, for allegedly molesting them during his tenure as pastor at churches in Jamaica Plain and Hingham between 1971 and 1979.

Three other men filed complaints against Paul J. Mahan, who is now in Virginia, raising the total of his alleged victims to nine while he was assigned to St. Ann's Church in Dorchester.

In one lawsuit, a Hingham man accused Geoghan of molesting him in his bedroom when he was 12 after the wake for his younger brother, who had drowned.

"As he was being fondled, the plaintiff recalls looking at his brother's empty bed and hearing his mother crying downstairs over the death of her son," read a complaint.

The suits, filed yesterday in Suffolk Superior Court, also name the supervisors of Geoghan and Mahan, charging that they were negligent in failing to address the abusive behavior once they knew about it.

"We will follow the evidence to wherever the evidence leads us," said attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who is representing all the plaintiffs against the priests. "We're conducting depositions now and documents are being produced and we will pursue to discover facts in these cases."

The Boston Archdiocese declined comment yesterday.


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