BOSTON (AP) -- The Archdiocese of Boston settled at least six sexual-abuse cases against a priest accused of raping teen-age boys, but allowed him to stay on in an administrative post until three years ago, according to published reports.
The administrative post held by the Rev. Bernard Lane had earlier been held by John J. Geoghan, 66, the defrocked priest who was convicted Jan. 18 of indecent assault on a 10-year-old boy. Geoghan faces two more criminal trials.
The allegations against Lane stem from the 1970s at the Alpha Omega House for troubled youth in Littleton, the facility he founded and directed.
Lane, 67, retired in 1999 but remains a priest. Geoghan was defrocked in 1998.
Lane denied the accusations in a telephone interview from his home in Barnstead, N.H., The Boston Globe said. He referred all questions to his lawyer and nephew, Gerard F. Lane II.
The archdiocese refused to comment to The Boston Globe and the Boston Herald. A spokeswoman did not immediately return a call for comment from The Associated Press.
Gerard Lane said the archdiocese compelled his uncle to settle, even though there was no merit to the accusations, because there were fears that a rush of claimants would try to capitalize on the case.
The younger Lane said his uncle denies the charges and said his accusers -- two of whom are in prison -- were just trying to make money off the archdiocese.
Lawyers for the alleged victims refused to give details of the settlements, citing confidentiality clauses, but one, Roderick MacLeish Jr., said the accusers were credible because they did not know one another but had suffered similar abuse.
MacLeish said the church's handling of Lane mirrors the treatment given to Geoghan, whose abuse was overlooked as he was shuttled from one parish to another. MacLeish said he believes there is evidence that the archdiocese had long known about Lane's abusive behavior.
Cardinal Bernard F. Law said earlier this month that in January 1993, as part of a new archdiocesan policy on sexual abuse, the church reviewed its personnel files on all living priests and removed some priests from active ministry.
That was the year that Geoghan was removed from St. Julia Parish in Weston and Lane was removed as pastor of Our Lady of Grace Church in Chelsea, the newspapers said.
Lane was named associate director of the Office of Senior Priests at Regina Cleri, the archdiocese's principal retirement home for priests in Boston, from 1996 to 1998, according to church directories.
Geoghan had held that same post at Regina Cleri for two years, leaving in 1996 after public attention was focused on his alleged abuse of children.
According to the Globe, Lane also founded a treatment center for drug-using adolescents in Malden in 1969, and he organized retreats for youths at the churches where he worked as pastor. He was also a former chaplain at Malden Catholic High School.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.