Rev. Gagnon Is Arraigned on Sex Charge

Telegram & Gazette
May 18, 2004

UXBRIDGE - The Rev. Jean-Paul Gagnon, former pastor of St. Augustine parish in Millville, was arraigned yesterday in District Court on one charge of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14.

Rev. Gagnon pleaded not guilty and Judge Austin T. Philbin continued his case until June 30, releasing him on personal recognizance.

District Attorney John J. Conte said the crime occurred Oct. 11, 2002, in Sutton. The alleged victim, who is an adult, has not been named, but the district attorney said he was active in St. Augustine parish, where Rev. Gagnon had been assigned.

The allegation was investigated by state police attached to Mr. Conte's office and they brought the charge.

Rev. Gagnon has been placed on administrative leave by the Diocese of Worcester and cannot serve as a priest.

A number of people from the parish, some praying with rosary beads, packed the courtroom for the arraignment. Some said they were there to support the priest while others were there as interested observers from the parish.

Rev. Gagnon was represented by Edward P. Ryan Jr. of Fitchburg. Mr. Ryan is also representing Rev. Gagnon in a civil suit pending in Worcester Superior Court alleging he sexually abused Timothy P. Staney, formerly of Worcester and now a Florida resident, when Mr. Staney was a minor.


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