Man Sues Estate of Dead Priest
(CN) - An Episcopal priest sexually assaulted a child parishioner for 10 years, the child, now a man, claims in court.
John Doe claims in Suffolk County Court that the late Rev. Paul A.L. LaCharite sexually abused him from 1995 until 2005.
LaCharite died on Sept. 26, 2012, apparently of suicide, two weeks after he was accused of indecent assault, according to reports in Boston newspapers and an Anglican Church website.
LaCharite was rector and priest at the defendant St. James Episcopal Church in Somerville. From 2005 until his death in 2012 he was pastor at Old North Church in Boston, which is not a party to the lawsuit.
Doe also sued the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts and LaCharite's estate.
He claims LaCharite abused him during his years at St. James Episcopal Church in Somerville, where Doe was a parishioner. The abuse allegedly began before he was 10.
As a result, Doe claims, he "sustained serious personal injuries, emotional distress, pain and suffering, was required to seek counseling, and otherwise has sustained damages."
The diocese hired LaCharite in 1983 and ordained him as a priest in 1989 "purportedly after an investigation of his qualifications," according to the lawsuit.
The diocese said this week it was unable to comment on a "pending legal matter."
Several calls to attorney Richard Mahoney, named as a defendant as the "special personal representative" of LaCharite's estate, were not returned.
LaCharite was librarian of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge before he became the rector and priest at St. James Episcopal Church in Somerville.
Doe seeks $2 million in damages.
He is represented by Lewis Eisenberg, with Cosgrove, Eisenberg and Kiley, of Quincy, Mass.
Anglican Ink, a church website, reported last year that the Rev. Paul A. LaCharite, a retired, 65-year-old priest, was arrested in September 2012 and charged with one count of assault to rape a child and three counts of indecent assault and battery.
The article said LaCharite was accused of "molesting a boy over a period of ten years when he was rector of St James Episcopal Church in Somerville."
It also reported that the diocese was cooperating with the district attorney's investigation.
The Church of England Newspaper reported that LaCharite was found dead at his home on Sept. 26, 2012, apparently of suicide. It reported that Bishop Thomas Shaw posted on the diocesan website that day "that the Rev. Paul LaCharite has died, an apparent suicide."
LaCharite's attorney David Meier told the Boston Globe that LaCharite was "an innocent man who was driven to the depths of despair by a false accusation."