Kevin E. Iguabita, a Roman Catholic priest, was arrested on Monday for allegedly raping a 15-year old girl twice in the rectory of the All Saints Church in Haverhill, Massachusetts where he served as parochial vicar. According to the victim, Iguabita made several sexual advances on her before assaulting her in 2000 at the church. The victim also told police that Iguabita had on one occasion raped her and then went to her confessions. The allegations against Iguabita concerned many parishioners who indicated that Iguabita had been the director of the Catholic Youth Organization at the church and went with children on numerous excursions. Iguabita pleaded innocent yesterday to two counts of rape and one count of assault with intent to rape.
The charges against Iguabita come just as another Boston priest, John J. Geoghan, begins his trial on a child sexual assault charge today. Geoghan allegedly molested a 10-year old boy at the Waltham Boys and Girls Club in 1991. Geoghan has also been charged separately with the rape of a child under 16 and will also stand trial for two counts of indecent assault and battery of a child under 14. Geoghan claimed poverty and requested a court-appointed lawyer after transferring ownership of real estate estimated to be worth more than $750,000 to his sister. In addition to his three criminal trials, Geoghan may have assaulted more than 130 children since the 1980s. These children have now come forward, but the statues of limitation may have passed for some of their charges.
Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston apologized last week for knowingly allowing Geoghan to continue his duties as a parish priest while he was suspected of molestation and pedophilia. The LA Times reports that 118 people have now launched civil suits against Law and the Archdiocese of Boston for negligence. The archdiocese has already paid more than $10 million in settlements to Geoghan’s alleged victims. Law has now assured parishioners that Iguabita will not be allowed to serve in the parish pending his lawsuit and a church review.
For more on the Archdiocese of Boston and the charges against Geoghan, see previous articles on the Feminist Daily News Wire.
For more on sexual abuse and the Catholic Church, see the Feminist Daily News Wire Special Series: Priests, Rape, and AIDS.