Former priest arrested on 29 sex charges

Ronald Paquin, a former priest who spent a decade in prison on sex abuse charges, was arrested on 29 counts of gross sexual misconduct on Wednesday.

Paquin, 74, is accused of raping two boys, ages 11 and 14, in Kennebunkport, Maine, during the late 1980’s, according to the Eagle-Tribune. Paquin was an associate pastor at St. John the Baptist Church in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

One of the alleged victims spoke with Seacoast Online on Thursday. Keith Townsend, 42, claimed Paquin raped him between the ages of 8 and 13. He accused the 74-year-old of sedating him with drugs and alcohol to carry out the abuse. The 42-year-old also said he was one of ten boys abused during camping trips in Kennebunkport.

The New York Daily News reported that Paquin spent more than 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to raping an altar boy, starting at age 12. According to WHAV, Paquin committed the rapes between 1989 and 1992.

Paquin was one of the first priests to admit guilt amid the Boston Archdiocese sex abuse scandal. The Vatican defrocked Paquin in 2004.

The ex-priest was released in 2015 after two examiners determined he wasn’t a threat to the public. The Daily News reported he admitted to abusing 14 boys.

Townsend, who claimed he and many of Paquin’s victims later struggled with substance abuse, received $140,000 in a private settlement with the Boston archdiocese in 2010. Though he went to authorities shortly after the settlement, Paquin’s release pushed him to contact them again.

“It was like somebody dropped a bomb on our neighborhood and everybody was killed,” Townsend said. “When they released him, [I felt] simple outrage. “Nobody is safe as long as this guy’s on the street.”

Boston Police spokesman Officer Stephen McNulty announced US Marshals and officers with the Boston Police Special Investigations Unit arrested the 74-year-old at the request of the Kennebunkport Police Department.

On Monday, a York County grand jury indicted Paquin on 13 counts of gross sexual misconduct, class A, and 16 counts of gross sexual misconduct, class B, according to the Eagle-Tribune. He is expected to be arraigned as a fugitive from justice on Friday.

[Feature Photo: Kennebunkport Police Department]