Former Priest Arrested in Child Sexual Abuse Sting

By Laurel J. Sweet
Boston Herald
November 7, 2001

A newly retired Gloucester priest was arrested outside a New Hampshire ice cream stand yesterday when the teenage boy he allegedly arranged to hook up with for sex turned out to be an undercover cop, according to police.

The Rev. Frederick L. Guthrie, 55, who retired from St. Ann Church in Gloucester last June, according to the Archdiocese of Boston, was busted in the parking lot of Hayward's Ice Cream in Nashua, N.H., about 3 p.m.

The stand had been boarded up for the season.

Nashua police Detective Sgt. Mark Manley told WCVB-TV last night that Guthrie unwittingly began corresponding over the Internet with an undercover officer posing as a 15-year-old boy 10 days ago.

"They made arrangements to meet (yesterday) for sexual activities," Manley said.

Guthrie, who lives in Newbury, was charged with prohibited computer use and was released on bail last night.

Archdiocese spokeswoman Donna Morrissey said last night that she was not aware of Guthrie's arrest, but she confirmed a priest named Fred Guthrie had served at St. Ann until his retirement five months ago.

He currently has no ministerial assignments, she said.

Guthrie played an active role in efforts to revitalize the city's fishing industry while with St. Ann, the church where Gloucester mourned the deaths of six crewmen who went down with the Andrea Gail in the 1991 no-name storm.

A call to St. Ann Church was not returned last night.


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