Hearing to Decide If Ex Haverhill Priest is ‘Sexually Dangerous’

A probable cause hearing is scheduled to take place at noon, Friday, to determine whether a former Haverhill priest should be deemed a “sexually dangerous person.”

Ronald H. Paquin, 72, former associate pastor at St. John the Baptist Church in Haverhill, faces Judge Timothy Feeley in Salem Superior Court, according to a spokesperson for Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s office. The hearing is one of two Paquin faces.

“If the judge finds probable cause, Paquin will be held for an additional 60-day period for an in-depth evaluation by two qualified examiners to determine whether or not he is sexually dangerous. The Essex District Attorney’s office may proceed to trial if at least one of the qualified examiners concludes that he is sexually dangerous,” Blodgett’s office said Thursday.

Paquin pleaded guilty to three counts of rape of a child during his trial in December, 2002. He was sentenced to serve 12 to 15 years at Massachusetts Correctional Institution—Cedar Junction. The rapes took place in Haverhill between 1989 and 1992, beginning when the victim was 12 years old. He was the first priest to admit guilt in a molestation case during the Boston Archdiocese’ sex abuse scandal. Paquin began his career at St. Monica’s Church, Methuen, in 1973.


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