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Another Priest Charged With Child Rape

Jan 15, 2002 | UPI

As a jury was being selected to hear child sex abuse charges against a Roman Catholic priest accused of molesting more than 130 children in Massachusetts, the church Tuesday said another priest was charged with child rape.

Archdiocese of Boston officials said Rev. Kelvin E. Iguabita in Haverhill, Mass., has been arrested. The archdiocese last week announced a policy of "zero tolerance" on priests known as having been responsible for such sexual abuse.

The archdiocese said Iguabita was arrested by Haverhill police and charged with two counts of child rape and one count of assault with intent to rape. Charges allegedly involve a 15-year-old girl.

In accordance with its sexual misconduct policy, the archdiocese said Iguabita will not be given any assignment pending the outcome of the criminal charges. At the time of his arrest, Iguabita did not have an assignment in the archdiocese.

Jury selection, meanwhile, neared completion Tuesday in Middlesex Superior Court in Cambridge for the first criminal trial of defrocked priest John J. Geoghan, 66. The former priest is charged with indecent assault and battery on a child for allegedly molesting a 10-year-old boy in the swimming pool of the Waltham Boys & Girls Club in 1991.

Opening statements and witness testimony are expected to get under way on Wednesday.

Judge Sandra Hamlin, at the start of jury selection on Monday, ordered the media not to identify the alleged victim, a college student, or his mother. Both are expected to testify against Geoghan, who was removed as a priest in 1998.

Geoghan also faces two more criminal trials and at least 86 civil lawsuits stemming from allegations he abused scores of children while serving as a priest in various Boston area parishes over three decades.

The Archdiocese of Boston has already settled some 50 civil suits against Geoghan for more than $10 million.

A native of Colombia, Iguabita was ordained in Boston in May 1999. Before taking a leave of absence on July 18, 2001, Iguabita had been assigned to the Metropolitan Tribunal of Boston and previously was parochial vicar at All Saints Parish in Haverhill.

He was arraigned Tuesday in Haverhill District Court and was ordered held on $15,000 bond.

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