Ex-City Priest Arraigned for Assault

By Kathleen A. Shaw
Telegram & Gazette
August 28, 2003

The Rev. David L. Blizard, who left the Worcester diocese in 1988, was arraigned yesterday in Brockton Superior Court on a charge of indecent assault and battery of a person over age 14.

District Attorney John J. Conte initially investigated but turned the case over to the Plymouth County district attorney because the offense allegedly happened July 25, 1988, in Wareham.

Michael H. O'Connell, an assistant district attorney for Plymouth County, said Rev. Blizard, 56, lives at 124 East Pine St., Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. Rev. Blizard returned voluntarily to Massachusetts for the arraignment and was released on personal recognizance. He is returning to Florida but is expected to return for a pretrial conference Oct. 2, he said. Howey-in-the-Hills is a small community in Central Florida, located between Orlando and Altamonte Springs.

The victim was not named by Mr. O'Connell.

In a pending lawsuit, Robert A. Malo of Worcester alleges that he was sexually abused by Rev. Blizard in 1978 or 1979 as part of a "child sex ring" that operated from the former House of Affirmation in Whitinsville.

The Massachusetts statute of limitations on sexual abuse would have frozen in 1988 when Rev. Blizard left the state. Raymond L. Delisle, diocesan spokesman, has said Rev. Blizard left the diocese in 1988 and they did not know where he was.

Mr. Malo said in his civil suit that he was introduced to Rev. Blizard by the late Rev. Victor Frobas. Rev. Frobas was sent to the House of Affirmation, which closed in the late 1980s amid financial scandal, for treatment for sexual abuse problems. He was sent out to work as a priest in Northboro, where he allegedly sexually abused Mr. Malo and other boys. Mr. Malo alleges in his suit that he was introduced to Rev. Blizard by Rev. Frobas. The suit also contends that Rev. Frobas took him to the Boston area where he was sexually abused by the Rev. John L. Geoghan, who was strangled Saturday at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center.

Rev. Blizard, a native of Whitinsville, studied for the priesthood at St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore, and was ordained in 1974 by Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan. His first assignment was at St. Roch Parish, Oxford.

He was transferred in 1978 to Our Lady Immaculate Parish, Athol, and served there until going to Christ the King Parish, Worcester. In 1982, he went to Holy Angels Parish, Upton.

Rev. Blizard left parish work in 1983 to teach religion at St. Bernard's Central Catholic High School, Fitchburg. He also taught at Holy Name High School.

Rev. Blizard is one of nine priests in the Worcester diocese who have faced criminal charges of alleged sexual abuse of minors. The Rev. Robert E. Kelley served a prison term starting in 1990 for rape of a Gardner girl and awaits sentencing of a new charge after recently pleading guilty to child rape in connection with abuse of two girls when he served in Leominster.

The Rev. Ronald Provost was given a 10-year prison term in 1993 in connection with taking indecent photographs of a boy at a swimming pool in Gardner but was placed on probation. The Rev. Edward Nicewicz received a jail term in the late 1980s for sexual abuse of two Sutton girls. The Rev. Thomas A. Teczar of Webster is facing extradition to Texas to face a charge that he sexually abused a boy there. The late Rev. Brion Ares, who was serving in Athol, was indicted by a Franklin County grand jury in the 1990s for rape and indecent assault on a youth but his trial ended in mistrial when the jury could not reach a verdict. The Rev. Joseph A. Fredette, an Assumptionist priest, was sentenced to a jail term in 1995 for sexually abusing a boy when he was executive director in Worcester of the Come Alive program for troubled boys. He served his jail term but the conviction was overturned last year by the state Supreme Judicial Court.

Rev. Frobas was indicted in 1993 for sexual abuse of minors but died before the case could come to trial. The Rev. David A. Holley, who served in East Douglas, was found guilty of sexual abuse of children in New Mexico and is serving a 275-year jail term in that state.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.