Shocking Past of Retired Priest Who Was Killed in Palmer Fire

By Liz Tufts
May 15, 2008

[with video]

The shocking past of Andre Corbin is coming to light, just days after the retired priest was killed in an apartment fire in Palmer.

Andre Corbin was arrested in 1988 for molesting a boy at a church in North Carolina. According to a website that highlights the history of sexual abuse by priests, it says Corbin plead guilty to the accusations and was sentenced to 5 years in jail, of which he served 60 days.

It also states Corbin was accused of molesting an 8-year-old Springfield boy more than 40 years ago while home in Western Mass for a visit. In both cases, Corbin allegedly arranged for the boys to play the part of Christ in a school play and that's when the alleged molestation occurred.

But his neighbors back at the Palmer Green Apartment Complex where Corbin was killed Tuesday night were unaware of the 79-year-old's past. Corbin was ordained in Palmer in 1961 but worked as a priest in Raleigh and then Charlotte for most of his life.

The Springfield Diocese says he was never assigned a local parish.

Corbin moved back to Palmer to live in the same apartment complex his parent's built, and the one where he ultimately lost his life. A priest that left a good impression with his neighbors, and a man that may have taken his shocking past to his grave.

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