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Convicted Child Molester Geoghan Killed In Prison

POSTED: 4:21 p.m. EDT August 23, 2003
UPDATED: 5:42 p.m. EDT August 23, 2003

BOSTON -- BOSTON -- Former priest John Geoghan, a convicted child molester who was a central figure in the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal, died Saturday after he was attacked by another inmate, a state corrections spokeswoman said.

Geoghan was injured in the incident at about noon and was transported to Leominster Hospital, where he died shortly after, said Department Of Correction spokeswoman Kelly Nantel.

The other inmate had been isolated and the incident was under investigation. The church abuse scandal, which has had repercussions worldwide, broke in early 2002 with revelations that the church had shuttled Geoghan from parish to parish despite warnings about his behavior.

The scandal mushroomed after a judge ordered the release of archdiocese files involving dozens of priests, showing repeated examples of the archdiocese shipping priests to different parishes when allegations arose.

Geoghan was convicted in January 2002 of indecent assault and battery for grabbing the buttocks of a 10-year-old boy in 1991 in the first of three criminal cases against him. He was sentenced to nine to 10 years in prison.

In civil lawsuits, more than 130 people have claimed Geoghan sexually abused them as children during his three decades as a priest at Boston-area parishes.

In September 2002, the archdiocese settled with 86 Geoghan victims for $10 million, after pulling out of an earlier settlement of about $30 million.

Mitchell Garabedian, an attorney for numerous Geoghan victims, said he was "surprised and shocked" by Geoghan's death.

"Many of my clients would have rather seen Father Geoghan serve out his time in jail and endure the rigors of further criminal trials, so that his pedophile acts could have been exposed further," he said.

The Rev. Christopher Coyne, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Boston, offered prayers for Geoghan's family.

"Upon hearing the news of the tragic death of John Geoghan, the Archdiocese of Boston offers prayer for the repose of John's soul, and extends its prayers in consolation to his beloved sister, Kathy, at this time of personal loss," he said.

Ralph DelVecchio, a Geoghan victim who settled with the archdiocese last year, said Geoghan deserved prison, but didn't deserve to be killed there.

"I wouldn't say he deserved to die, you know?" DelVecchio said. "He was in jail - that's where I believed he should be." DelVecchio said he didn't wish ill on Geoghan.

"It's over with," he said.

Now his sister (Keebler elf-lady look alike) who who he signed over all his property to will have a suit against the DOC for not keeping poor Defrocked Father John out of harms way. Probably a million plus for poor John. Too bad, how sad!!

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Not sure why he wasn't at Bridgewater, but I know he was at Concord previously. Concord has alot of the big name protective custody inmates. I guess the Superintendant of the Concord facility overruled the classification boards ruling to continue holding him at Concord, and remanded him to Shirley. Personally, being a corrections guy, I'm trying to figure out how exactly this happened, step by step. Something doesn't sound right, and unfortunatley I think the DOC and someone, maybe a staff member might get burned for it. Hopefully that's not the case though. As we all know though, the DOC is probably going to be looking for someone to fry for this, weather it's deserving or not.
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