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Judge Sets July Trial Date For Priest In Abuse Case

Mar 25, 2003 | Fitchburg Sentinel A former Leominster priest is scheduled to go on trial in July on five counts of rape of a child.

Superior Court Judge James Donohue set a July 21 trial date for suspended priest Robert E. Kelley during a hearing Monday in Worcester Superior Court.

Kelley faces a total of seven child-rape charges for allegedly engaging in sexual acts with two young girls in the 1980s, when he was associate pastor at St. Cecilia's Parish on Mechanic Street in Leominster.

He's expected to go to trial on the remaining two charges in August.

He already has been convicted in 1990 of sexually abusing a young girl at the Sacred Heart Parish in Gardner.

He served five years in state prison for the conviction.

Kelley has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is free on $10,000 cash bail.

One of his bail conditions is that he has no unsupervised contact with children.

His attorney, Anthony Salerno of Worcester, said Kelley has "been flawless in meeting those conditions."

Kelley attended the hearing Monday but didn't say anything.

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