Desilets Doesn't Want Sex Offender Treatment

The Canoe
October 19, 2006

Worchester, Mass. (AP) - A retired Roman Catholic priest from Quebec who has spent more than a year in U.S. prison after pleading guilty to molesting boys at a Bellingham, Mass., church more than 20 years ago is asking a judge to excuse him from court-ordered sex offender treatment because he is too old and sick.

Rev. Paul Desilets, 82, plans to return to his religious community, Les Clercs de St. Viateur in Joliette, Que., and is "too elderly and infirm" to participate in counselling, his lawyer, Dennis Kelly said in the motion, scheduled to be heard Friday.

"Father Desilets' advanced age and infirm physical condition render him incapable of participating in a treatment program. Further, sex offender treatment would serve no useful purpose because he will not be in a position to have contact with children at the Les Clercs de St. Viateur infirmary," Kelly wrote in his motion.

Desilets is scheduled to be released from prison Monday.

Desilets is confined to a wheelchair and is taking medication for a variety of medical problems, including diabetes and pain in his hip and knee resulting from childhood polio.

Desilets was sentenced in May 2005 to up to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to 32 counts of assault and battery. Desilets admitted to sexually assaulting 18 altar boys from 1978 to 1984 while he was associate pastor at Our Lady of the Assumption parish.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Timothy Hillman placed Desilets on probation for 10 years following his release, during which time he was ordered to have no contact with his victims and no unsupervised contact with anyone under age 18 and to have counselling.

Kelly is also asking that Desilets' probation be changed from supervised to administrative and he be allowed to report to his probation officer by mail or telephone.


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