Former priest John Geoghan, a convicted child molester who became a central figure in the Catholic church’s sex abuse scandal, has been killed in prison, a state public safety spokesman said Saturday.
Geoghan was injured in an incident with another inmate at about noon and was transported to Leominster Hospital, where he died shortly after, said Department Of Public Safety spokesman David Shaw.
Geoghan was convicted in January 2002 of indecent assault and battery for grabbing the buttocks of a 10-year-old boy in 1991 in the first of three criminal cases against him. He was sentenced to nine to 10 years in prison.
In civil lawsuits, more than 130 people have claimed Geoghan sexually abused them as children during his three decades as a priest at Boston-area parishes.
In September 2002, the archdiocese settled with 86 Geoghan victims for $10 million, after pulling out of an earlier settlement of about $30 million.
While I’m certainly not surprised by this outcome, it brings to mind a question that has often occured to me: Why do we have so much trouble maintaining law and order in our penetentiaries? These institutions are almost certainly among the most dangerous places on the planet–much more so than even a combat zone. Why is that? Of all the places where the power of the state can be brought to bear without overmuch concern for civil liberties, it’s in prison.