Hudson Priest Suspended Following Allegations of Child Sex Abuse

Associated Press, carried in Worcester Telegram & Gazette
November 28, 2006

Boston — A priest at a Hudson church has been placed on leave by the Roman Catholic Boston Archdiocese pending an investigation into an allegation that he sexually abused a child in 1994, church officials said.

Parishioners at St. Michael Parish were notified at Masses last weekend that their associate pastor, the Rev. Steven Poitras, had been suspended.

The state attorney general's office and the Essex district attorney's office have been notified and the archdiocese is conducting an internal investigation, church officials said in a statement.

"The decision to place Father Poitras on administrative leave does not represent a determination of his guilt or innocence," the archdiocese said.

The archdiocese did not elaborate on the details of the alleged abuse.

The alleged abuse did not occur at the parish to which Poitras was assigned, said diocese spokeswoman Kelly Lynch.

Poitras, who was ordained in 1993, served as assistant pastor at St. Michael Parish in North Andover and St. Ann Parish in Somerville before being assigned to St. Michael's in Hudson.

The suspension was hailed by Dorothy Kennedy, president of the Boston-area council of Voice of the Faithful, an organization founded after the clergy sex abuse scandal that calls for more transparency in church hierarchy decisions.

"We are glad that they are announcing he will be placed on administrative leave. It is an indication of greater transparency," she said.


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