Former altar-boy coordinator at St. Brendan arraigned on child-rape charges

Michael Walsh, 80, was arraigned Wednesday on charges he raped and indecently attacked a Dorchester boy more than two decades ago, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, Walsh was an altar-boy coordinator at St. Brendan Church and a coach in the Cedar Grove Baseball League. He is charged with one count of rape of a child and two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child for alleged offenses against a boy who was then in the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades, the DA's office reports, adding the victim, now in his late 30s, contacted authorities earlier this year:

"Walsh allegedly used his position of authority to gain access to, 'groom, and ultimately sexually assault' him. Walsh was said to take the victim and other children out to eat and to the movies, and would drive them home; the abuse of the victim took place within Walsh's car, his home, and his office."

Walsh was released on personal recognizance, but has to stay in Massachusetts, wear a GPS monitor and surrender his passport while his case is pending, the DA's office reports.

In 2006, the legislature passed a law that eliminated the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse charges as long as prosecutors could provide "objective, corroborative evidence" of the abuse.

Prosecutors say Walsh lost his job as a priest in Grand Rapids, MI in 2002, after he was charged with child sexual abuse during his time at the St. Francis de Sales Church in Charlestown - in a case that allegedly happened before the Dorchester incidents.

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