Ex-priest who raped altar boy wants to live in NH

New Hampshire Union Leader/March 18, 2009

A defrocked Massachusetts priest was released from prison Saturday after serving more than four years for raping an altar boy and now wants to serve his 25 years probation in New Hampshire, according to officials and a published report.

Robert V. Gale, 67, walked out of the Massachusetts Treatment Center for the Sexually Dangerous in Bridgewater, Mass., upon completion of his sentence Saturday, Massachusetts corrections department spokeswoman Diane Wiffin said yesterday. The former Boston archdiocesan priest was released to the streets, she said.

Gale currently is listed as a Level 3 sex offender living in the northern Boston suburb of Everett, Mass., according to the Massachusetts sex offender registry.

Bay State probation officials said Gale wants to serve his 25 years probation in New Hampshire, where he grew up, according to The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Mass. New Hampshire officials have yet to act on the transfer request, the newspaper reported.

The former Boston archdiocesan priest was serving at St. Joseph's Parish in Quincy, Mass., in 1979 when he allegedly took a 12-year-old altar boy to New Hampshire and sodomized him, according to investigative files released by the New Hampshire Attorney General's office as part of its 2002 investigation into the Catholic Diocese of Manchester's handling of child sexual abuse by clergy over a 40-year period.

Gale first drove the boy to Camp Fatima in Barnstead during February school vacation week, according to a 1994 confidential memo sent to the Rev. John B. McCormack, then a priest in charge of handling clergy sexual abuse allegations for the Boston archdiocese and now bishop of Manchester.

Gale broke into a cabin at the camp, but couldn't get the heat to work, the memo said. The priest then took the boy to Gale's sister's apartment in Manchester, according to the investigative files.

"Don't worry. What do you think I am, gay?" the altar boy said Gail asked him when he sensed the boy's apprehension at having to share a pull-out couch with the priest.

The alleged victim said Gail sodomized him in bed and he woke up the next morning bleeding rectally, according to the alleged victim's attorney who settled a civil suit against the Boston archdiocese and Gale for $80,000.

The attorney said his client later located at least two other victims of Gale's after running a personal ad in the newspaper. One of them also claimed Gale sexually molested him in New Hampshire.

After learning Gale sexually abused another youth at the Quincy parish, the Boston archdiocese transferred him to St. Jude Parish in Waltham, Mass., church files reveal.

Gale pleaded guilty in 2004 to four counts of child rape for molesting an altar boy at St. Jude Church from 1980 to 1984 when the boy was 10 to 14 years old.

Gale was laicized in 2006. He is one of five Massachusetts priests -- four archdiocesan priests and a Jesuit -- convicted of sexual offenses since the clergy sexual abuse scandal became public in 2002, the Patriot Ledger reported.

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