BOSTON — A priest at a Hudsonchurch has been placed on leave by the Roman Catholic BostonArchdiocese pending an investigation into an allegation that hesexually abused a child in 1994, church officials said.
Parishionersat St. Michael Parish were notified at Masses last weekend that theirassociate pastor, the Rev. Steven Poitras, had been suspended.
Thestate attorney general's office and the Essex district attorney'soffice have been notified and the archdiocese is conducting an internalinvestigation, church officials said in a statement.
"Thedecision to place Father Poitras on administrative leave does notrepresent a determination of his guilt or innocence," the archdiocesesaid.
The archdiocese did not elaborate on the details of the alleged abuse.
The alleged abuse did not occur at the parish to which Poitras was assigned, said diocese spokeswoman Kelly Lynch.
Poitras,who was ordained in 1993, served as assistant pastor at St. MichaelParish in North Andover and St. Ann Parish in Somerville before beingassigned to St. Michael's in Hudson.
Thesuspension was hailed by Dorothy Kennedy, president of the Boston-areacouncil of Voice of the Faithful, an organization founded after theclergy sex abuse scandal that calls for more transparency in churchhierarchy decisions.
"Weare glad that they are announcing he will be placed on administrativeleave. It is an indication of greater transparency," she said.
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