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Mass. Episcopal priest charged with abusing child

September 8, 2012
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SOMERVILLE, Mass.—A Boston priest, formerly of St. James Episcopal Church in Somerville, was arrested Friday on sexual assault charges involving a child who was once a parishioner along with his family at the Somerville church, authorities said.

The Rev. Paul A. LaCharite, 65, was arrested on one count of assault to rape a child and three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone and Somerville Police Chief Thomas Pasquarello said in a news release. They alleged the abuse occurred over a 10-year period, beginning in the 1990s when the child was in elementary school. The victim told authorities this week of the alleged abuse.

Police would not say if LaCharite was in jail Friday evening.

A man who answered a phone number for LaCharite and identified himself as Bruce Shaw said he does not expect LaCharite to be released from police custody until Monday. He said the abuse allegations are false.

"I don't believe a word of it," Shaw said.

Shaw said he has been LaCharite's partner for 31 years and they have been married for six.

He said LaCharite was nothing but kind to the boy, who Shaw said came from a troubled family.

"Paul was incredibly kind to this problematic family. And I do not believe for one moment that he had sexual interest in this young man," Shaw said. I know pretty much everything about him."

Authorities said the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts is cooperating with the investigation.

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