Defrocked Priest in Sex Scandal Wants to Live in Middleton

By John Quinn
Foster's Daily Democrat
March 24, 2009

MIDDLETON Police Chief Randy Sobel said he is concerned about the fact a defrocked priest who is a convicted sex offender is trying to return to town after being released from prison.

In 2002, police arrested Robert V. Gale, 67, at his property at 100 Lakeshore Drive, on a charge of being a fugitive from justice after he was indicted in Massachusetts on four counts of rape of a child between 1980 and 1984 when the boy was 10 to 14 years old.

Gale, who was defrocked in 2006, pleaded guilty in 2004 to raping an altar boy. A civil suit claims that Gale, who was a priest at St. Joseph's Parish in Quincy, Mass., took a 12-year-old altar boy to a cabin at Camp Fatima in Barnstead, and then to his sister's home in Manchester, where he was accused of raping him in 1979.

He was released from the Massachusetts Treatment Center for the Sexually Dangerous after completing his 41?2- to 5-year sentence earlier this month and a judge in that state ordered Gale to move to New Hampshire to serve his 25-year probation.

According to the town's tax records, Gale still owns the property, but it is being rented. The forwarding address for the property is 130 Woodland Ave. in Manchester, according to town records.

Sobel said police are concerned about the safety of Gale and the residents of the town if New Hampshire officials approve his application to return. He added the town cannot legally prevent Gale from returning.

Gale would have to register with police if he moves back, but not if he visits the property, Sobel said, adding police would also have to ensure Gale is not harassed if he returns and cannot single him or any resident out.

Gale is currently living in Everett, Mass., and is registered in that state as the highest-level sex offender those considered to be most at risk of reoffending. As part of his probation, he must undergo evaluations and treatment if officials deem them necessary.



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