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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Convicted priest released from prison, sex offender treatment uncertain

BELLINGHAM

A retired Roman Catholic priest from Bellingham who was convicted of molesting altar boys has been freed from prison but will not find out until later this year whether he has to undergo further sex offender treatment.

The Rev. Paul M. Desilets, 82, left the state prison in Shirley on Monday after serving a year and five months behind bars. He was sentenced in May 2005 after pleading guilty to 32 counts of assault and battery committed from 1978 to 1984 at Our Lady of the Assumption parish, where he was associate pastor.

Desilets asked Worcester Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. Locke last week to excuse him from sex offender treatment because he is too old and sick. Desilets' lawyer, Dennis J. Kelly, said his client suffers from diabetes, anemia and episodes of vertigo, among other health problems.

Locke took the request under consideration.

Desilets was given permission to return to his religious retirement community in Canada, Les Clercs de St. Viateur at Joliette, Quebec, but must return to Worcester Superior Court for a hearing in December, his lawyer said. At that time, a judge will decide if he must undergo the sex offender treatment.

-- AP

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