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Former Priest Sentenced

Oct 2, 2003 | AP

A former Leominster priest was sentenced yesterday to five to seven years in prison for raping two young girls in the early 1980s.

It was the second child molestation conviction and prison sentence for Robert E. Kelley, 61, of Worcester.

Kelley, who has not served as a priest since 1985, admitted a decade ago to attempting to rape another young girl in the 1980s. He was released from prison on those charges in 1997.

Kelley pleaded guilty last month to six counts of child rape. He admitted to abusing the girls who were between the ages of 6 and 10 from 1980 to 1986.

The abuse happened while Kelley was a priest at St. Cecilia's Parish in Leominster and Sacred Heart Parish in Gardner, according to Worcester District Attorney John Conte.

Worcester Superior Court Judge John S. McCann also ordered Kelley to serve 20 years probation following his prison sentence.

Kelley was banned from serving as a priest in 1985 following allegations of child abuse, according to the Worcester Roman Catholic Diocese.

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