Priest pleads guilty to molesting teens in 1970s at Boston high school

Associated Press/January 11, 2005

Boston -- A Jesuit priest who taught and coached at a high school pleaded guilty Tuesday to molesting two teenage boys during wrestling drills.

Prosecutors said the Rev. James Talbot sexually assaulted the two students in the late 1970s, when he was teaching history and coaching soccer and hockey at Boston College High School, an all-male parochial school.

Talbot, 67, was the first member of the Jesuit order prosecuted in the Boston Archdiocese since the clergy sex abuse scandal erupted here in 2002.

He pleaded guilty to one count each of rape and assault with intent to rape, and three counts of assault and battery. Under an agreement with prosecutors, he faces five to seven years in prison when he is sentenced on Jan. 24.

Assistant District Attorney Audrey Mark told the judge that Talbot held what he called "aggression drills" with students in which Talbot encouraged them to take most of their clothes off, then grabbed their genitals while they were wrestling with him. Talbot also orally raped one of the boys and tried to orally rape the other, but he broke free and ran out of the gymnasium, Mark said.

Talbot and his attorney would not comment after the hearing.

Talbot left Massachusetts some time after the offenses, which froze the statute of limitations and allowed prosecutors to bring a case against him more than two decades later.

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