ALFRED — A former Massachusetts priest found guilty of sexually abusing a young altar boy on trips to Maine in the late 1980s has been scheduled to be sentenced on March 5.

Ronald Paquin, 76, was convicted in York County Superior Court on 11 of 24 counts of gross sexual misconduct on Nov. 28.

Keith Townsend, 44, of Seabrook, New Hampshire, the victim in the incidents related to the charges, has spoken publicly about the abuse. Townsend testified in court in November that Paquin befriended him by giving him alcohol and letting him drive his car without a license.

Townsend said the first incident of sexual abuse occurred when he was 8 or 9 years old, and he was repeatedly sexually abused by Paquin during trips with the then priest to a Kennebunkport campground where Paquin had a trailer.

Paquin was found not guilty of similar charges related to a second boy, now an adult, who also testified in November.

Paquin was a central figure in The Boston Globe “Spotlight” investigation of clergy sexual abuse. He pleaded guilty in 2002 to three counts of raping a Haverhill, Massachusetts, altar boy and spent about a decade in jail on those charges.

Paquin was removed from the priesthood by the Catholic Church in 2000, after the Boston Archdiocese received at least 18 complaints over two decades that he had sexually abused boys, according to the Globe.

Paquin could face many years of prison time as well as fines from the recent conviction. He is scheduled to be sentenced in York County Superior Court on March 5, according to the court clerk’s office.

Paquin is being held at the York County Jail.

Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 780-9015 or at:

[email protected]


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