BOSTON (AP) -- A former priest convicted last month of sexually abusing a boy is arguing that separate child rape charges should be thrown out because they violate the statute of limitations.
The motion on behalf of John J. Geoghan was among several developments Monday involving allegations of sex abuse against Roman Catholic priests in Massachusetts.
The Boston Archdiocese has come under increasing scrutiny since the Jan. 18 conviction of Geoghan, who faces 10 years in prison for indecent assault and battery on a 10-year-old boy.
Mitchell Garabedian, a lawyer representing alleged victims of Geoghan, told the Boston Herald he'll consider seeking a court order to attach the church's valuable real estate holdings to ensure his clients are compensated if they win their cases.
Seven former altar boys who claim another priest abused them, including one who said the abuse led him to attempt suicide, filed suit Monday against the priest, his supervisor and the archdiocese.
It was the third lawsuit filed in the past week against retired priest Paul Desilets, 78, who was assigned to Assumption Parish in Bellingham from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s.
The plaintiffs claim the archdiocese knew or should have known Desilets touched the children on the genitals and buttocks "on scores of occasions" but did nothing to stop it.
That suit brings to 13 the number of former Assumption altar boys who have sued Desilets, who now lives in a retirement home in Quebec, Canada. Desilets did not immediately return a message left on the home's answering machine.
Also on Monday, the Worcester Diocese acknowledged that the Rev. Thomas Kane, named in two 1993 molestation lawsuits, has been receiving regular payments from the diocese even though he now lives in Mexico. The diocese told the Boston Herald that Kane was receiving a small benefit, but didn't say how much or why.
The newspaper said the diocese had told it last week that Kane wasn't on the payroll, but the Herald reported a 1999 deposition -- in a lawsuit filed by a former altar boy -- in which Kane said the church "gives me a little money because I've chosen to live a very private, priestly life."
Worcester Diocese Bishop Daniel P. Reilly on Monday announced a no-tolerance policy on abuse that requires priests, church workers and volunteers to report incidents of suspected child abuse to the state.
Cardinal Bernard F. Law already had announced a "zero tolerance" policy that resulted in the names of more than 80 active and former priests suspected of abuse during the last 40 years being turned over to prosecutors.
Geoghan, 66, is undergoing a psychological examination before his sentencing. He faces two more criminal trials, including the one that he's trying to throw out, and 80 civil suits.
His lawyer, Geoffrey Packard, filed a motion Monday claiming the statute of limitations had expired on two allegations of child rape by the time Geoghan was indicted in 1999. The limit is 10 years; prosecutors said the alleged victim reported the rape in 1989, but Packard argued it was 1986.
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