Former Haverhill Priest Paquin Found Guilty of Sexually Abusing Boy in Maine

Ronald H. Paquin 2017 booking photo (Courtesy of York County Jail, Maine)

A York County Maine jury found Ronald Paquin (seen in a 2017 booking photo) guilty on 11 of 24 counts of sexual misconduct. (Courtesy of York County Jail, Maine)

Ronald Paquin, the 76-year-old defrocked former priest from Haverhill’s St. John the Baptist parish, has been found guilty of sexually abusing a boy during a trip to Maine in the 1980s, a York County Maine jury ruled Thursday.

Following a three-day trial and deliberations on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, Paquin was found guilty on 11 of 24 counts of sexual misconduct, the Portland Press Herald reports. The former priest was found guilty of abusing one of the two men who testified against him. The jury of five women and seven men did not find Paquin guilty of the crimes alleged by the second accuser.

During testimony on Monday, the man Paquin was convicted of abusing said the one-time religious leader befriended him when he served as an altar boy in Haverhill’s Riverside neighborhood.

“He tried to be like a pal,” the man testified, according to the Press Herald. “He said no one would care for me as he does.” He also told jurors Paquin took him out for meals and let him drive his car without a license.

Sexual contact between the pair allegedly took place at a motel and campground in Kennebunkport, Maine, beginning when the man was 12 or 13 and continuing into his teen years.

Highlighted in the movie “Spotlight,” Paquin was the first priest to admit guilt in a molestation case during the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal.