Dedham Deacon Jailed for Sex Assault

By J.M. Lawrence and Scott Farmelant
The Boston Herald
February 22, 1999

A longtime Catholic church deacon who worked in the chaplain's office at Children's Hospital has been imprisoned for sexually abusing two family members.

Joseph I. Crowley Jr., 58, of Dedham pleaded guilty two weeks ago to six counts of rape and seven counts of indecent assault and battery on a child younger than 14.

Norfolk County Superior Court Judge Judith Fabricant sentenced the former deacon to three successive 2 1-2-year terms and 10 years'probation.

The Rev. William F. Murphy, delegate for sexual misconduct with the Archidiocese of Boston, noted that Crowley had not abused any patients at Children's and had been relieved of all church duties following his arrest in August.

Crowley, ordained as a deacon in 1980, was registered as a volunteer and assigned to the hospital chaplain's office by the archdiocese, a Children's spokesman said.

A Dedham police spokesman said the department's sexual assault unit arrested him on August 26.

Crowley's attorney, Frances King, could not be reached for comment.

One of Crowley's neighbors expressed shock at his guilty plea.

"He was just an average, everyday guy," said the 38-year-old mother who requested anonymity.

"It's scary to think that somebody in your own neighborhood has assaulted young children, especially his own."


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