Former altar boy coordinator accused of rape, assault from 1980s & 90s

DORCHESTER — A former altar boy coordinator is facing two counts of rape of a child and three counts of indecent assault from an incident that happened in the late 1980s and early 1990s, said the district attorney.

Michael Walsh, 79, was an altar boy coordinator at Dorchester's St. Brendan's on Rita Road. when the assaults occurred, said the Suffolk County. He later became a priest in another state but was relieved of his priesthood duties in 2002.

Using a cane, he appeared in front a Boston judge Wednesday, charged with sexually assaulting and raping a boy between the years 1988 and 1991, when the child was in fourth, fifth and sixth grade.

The victim, now in his 30's, came forward over the summer. Court paperwork says that Walsh used his position as an altar boy coordinator, as well as his job as a Cedar Grove Baseball coach, to "gain access, groom, and ultimately sexually abuse the alleged victim." Police say Walsh would take the boy and his friends out to eat and to the movies. After dropping off the victim's friends prosecutors say "the alleged victim recalled the sexual abuse over time from indecent groping and touching on multiple occasions to the defendant repeatedly raping him."

Walsh was removed from the priesthood in 2002 when an attorney for two alleged victims called the Grand Rapids diocese's attorney about assault incidents years before. Walsh had been recently ordained in the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids, Michigan at the time, but was not assigned to a parish.

On FOX25 News at 5, FOX25 looks at Walsh's past in Michigan and Dorchester. 

Walsh was never a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston. In a statement, the Archdiocese said they wouldn't comment on the legal proceedings.

Suffolk prosecutors were able to bring the charges in part because Walsh spent many years in Florida and Michigan, tolling the statute of limitations.

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