Priest Pleads Not Guilty to Sex Assault Charges | NECN
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Priest Pleads Not Guilty to Sex Assault Charges

Roman Catholic Priest Barry Meehan is accused of sexually abusing two boys in the 80s and 90s



    (Published Friday, Nov. 21, 2014)

     A Roman Catholic priest is facing sexual assault charges. Father Barry Meehan has served at six different parishes in Rhode Island, most recently in 2013 at St. Timothy's in Warwick, where he was pastor.

    The 65-year-old from West Warwick is charged with five counts of first degree sexual assault for allegations he assaulted children.

    State Police say the alleged assaults were committed on several young males during the 80s and 90s.

    According to the grand jury indictment, the alleged assaults happened while Father Meehan was serving at St. Mary's Church in Cranston, and St. Augustine Church in Providence.

    The boys were both older than 14.

    As for where the alleged assualts happened, State Police only say "various locations" in Rhode Island.

    Friday Meehan's lawyer, Kevin Bristow, entered not guilty pleas for him.

    "His response is, 'I didn't do it,'" said Bristow.

    State Police say they first started investigating two years ago after receiving a complaint from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence.

    In a statment the Diocese says they:

    "… removed Father Meehan from all priestly ministry in January 2013 after credible allegations of sexual misconduct with minors were received."

    Father Meehan also served at three parishes in West Warwick. State Police say they commend the victims for coming forward.

    His bail was set at $50,000 surety.

    He must have no contact with the alleged victims, and surrender his passport.

    The dioces says his permission to function as a priest was also removed last year.

    Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin has asked the Vatican that Father Meehan be permanently removed from the priesthood.

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