Ex-priest finishes jail term for abuse

The Boston Globe/March 20, 2011

A former Jesuit priest and teacher at Boston College High School was released from prison Friday after serving time for a 2005 conviction on sexual abuse charges, according to the state correction department.

James Talbot, who was 67 when convicted in 2005, left the Massachusetts Treatment Center in Bridgewater after completing his sentence, said Diane Wiffin, a spokeswoman from the Department of Correction.

Suffolk County prosecutors tried Talbot in 2002 on sexual abuse charges. In 2005, he was sentenced after pleading guilty to raping and sexually assaulting two of his students between 1977 and 1979 and was sentenced to five to seven years.

Prosecutors said Talbot, who coached the school's wrestling team, encouraged male students on the team to wrestle with him in the locker room wearing little or no clothing. He would then molest or rape his victim, charges said.

The Society of Jesus of New England is in the process of removing Talbot from the clergy, according to a spokeswoman.

"He's fully restricted from any ministry," said Alice Poltorick, a spokeswoman for the society. "He cannot wear clerical clothing, call himself 'father' or 'reverend,' or represent himself as a priest."

According to Poltorick, Talbot will be living at a facility outside Massachusetts where he will receive treatment.

"He is, with the permission of the Commonwealth, traveling to a facility out of the Commonwealth which will provide appropriate treatment and supervision in a secure and monitored location, where he will live in prayer and penance for his crimes," Poltorick said in an e-mail.

Poltorick said she did not know what facility Talbot was going to or where it is located.

In a phone interview yesterday, Poltorick said the church acknowledges that Talbot's release could stir up strong emotions in his victims.

"We recognize that the news of his release may be difficult for those who have been harmed by him, and we pray for them and all victims of clergy sexual abuse," Poltorick said.

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