A former minister at in Somerville's Teele Square, near the Arlington town line, has been arrested and accused of sexual assault on a child, according to an announcement from the Middlesex District Attorney's office.
Rev. Paul A. LaCharite, 65, of Boston, was arrested Friday afternoon. The alleged assault began in the 1990s and took place over the course of 10 years, the announcement says.
According to the announcement, Somerville police are investigating the case and are asking that anyone with information contact them at 617-625-1212 ext. 7220 or the Middlesex District Attorney’s child abuse unit at 781-897-8400.
No one answered the phone at Saint James Episcopal Church Friday evening.
Below is the announcment from the district attorney's office:
Former Somerville Priest Arrested On Assault To Rape, Indecent Assault & Battery On A Child Charges
SOMERVILLE– An Episcopal Priest, formerly of St. James Episcopal Church in Somerville, has been arrested on assault to rape a child and indecent assault and battery on a child charges, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone and Somerville Police Chief Thomas Pasquarello informed the public today.
Reverend Paul A. LaCharite, 65, of Boston, was arrested this afternoon on one count of assault to rape a child and three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child.
“We allege that this defendant, holding a trusted position within the Episcopal Church, indecently assaulted and touched the victim over several years, only ending his 10 year long predatory abuse of the victim when the defendant left the church,” District Attorney Leone said. “Our office will continue to prosecute those who harm or exploit children, as they are our most vulnerable victims and most deserving of our protection.”
Somerville Police Chief Thomas Pasquarello said, “The Somerville Police Department will continue to work with the District Attorney's Office as we investigate these serious allegations."
According to authorities, the victim and his family were long time parishioners at St. James Episcopal Church in Somerville. In the 1990s, beginning when the victim was in elementary school, the defendant, a priest at the church, began inappropriately touching the victim in his office. The defendant’s conduct is alleged to have progressed over a ten year period to include several indecent assault and batteries and assaults with the intent rape a child, with the abuse finally ceasing when the victim was a teenager due to the defendant leaving St. James.
The victim came forward to authorities to reveal the defendant’s alleged long-time abuse of him this week. An investigation was immediately conducted into the allegations and an arrest warrant for the defendant was issued today.
The investigation remains ongoing. Members of the public who believe that they may have information that could be helpful to the investigation can call Somerville Police at 617-625-1212 x 7220 or the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office Child Abuse Unit at 781-897-8400. The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts is cooperating fully with the investigation.
These charges are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The prosecutor assigned to this case is Assistant District Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, Deputy Chief of the Child Abuse Unit. The Victim Witness Advocate is Susie Marshall. The Child Interview Specialist is Katie Nugent. This case was investigated by the Somerville Police Department and members of the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office’s Child Abuse Unit.