Priest Who Let Sex Offender Live in Rectory to Return to Duties

Associated Press, carried on WCSH-TV - NBC6
February 6, 2008

PORTLAND (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest who let a registered sex offender live in his church rectory has received permission to return to limited duties.

The Rev. Paul Coughlin was temporarily removed from the parishes of Holy Cross and St. John in South Portland in 2004 as the church investigated complaints involving a volunteer who was later sentenced to prison for sexually abusing two boys.

Coughlin let the volunteer, John Skinner Sr., live in the church rectory, but there's no evidence of abuse while Skinner was living there. Coughlin himself was accused of inappropriate touching in 2002, but his actions didn't constitute a criminal offense.

Bishop Richard Malone says Coughlin, who's 73, won't be assigned to regular ministry and won't be allowed to minister in Wells, Bangor or South Portland where he associated with Skinner.


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