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Ex-coach, Jesuit priest pleads innocent
By Associated Press, 09/19/02
The Rev. James Talbot is charged with one count of rape, one count of assault with attempt to rape and five counts of indecent assault and battery of a person over 14.
Talbot is also accusing of molesting students at Cheverus High School in Portland, Maine. He was transferred there in 1980.
Bail has been set at $3,500 cash, and it was not immediately known whether he has posted it. A call to the Department of Corrections was not immediately returned.
Bail conditions require Talbot to have no contact with the alleged victims or anyone under 18 years, he has to remain in Massachusetts except to visit his ailing mother in Rhode Island and he has to surrender his passport if he has one, Suffolk County District Attorney spokesman David Procopio said.
The alleged assaults occurred during the 1970s during one-on-one wrestling bouts between Talbot and the students who ranged in age from 14 to 17. Talbot was a teacher and hockey and soccer coach at BC High School.
The indictment makes Talbot, 64, the third priest to face criminal charges this year in Suffolk County on accusations of molesting minors. He is the first New England priest from the Society of Jesus, one of the Catholic Church's largest religious orders, to be prosecuted since the clergy sex abuse crisis started in January.
A former Cheverus student, Michael S. Doherty, sued Talbot in 1998.
Two other Cheverus students say Talbot abused them, according to Roderick MacLeish Jr., the lawyer who represents them.
MacLeish said one has filed a negligence suit against the Jesuits in Boston and Boston College High School, alleging that Talbot's supervisors knew or should have known about Talbot's behavior and taken action to stop it before he was transferred to Cheverus.
Cheverus had no indication Talbot had been involved in any sexual misconduct, according to the Rev. John Keegan, the high school's president.
Maine's statute of limitations may preclude criminal charges for the alleged crimes here, though lawyers are exploring the possibility.