FRAMINGHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - A former Framingham pastor has been indicted by a grand jury on several charges related to child rape, according to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office.

In a joint-statement, both Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Framingham Chief of Police Lester Baker said Francis Strahan, 89, has been indicted on one count of Rape of a Child by Force and three counts of Indecent Assault and Battery on a Child Under 14.

According to their statement, the charges stemmed from an alleged sexual assault of a male student at Saint Bridget’s School in Framingham. Officials said the victim was between the ages of 11 and 13 at the time and had been altar server while Strahan was Pastor of Saint Bridget’s Parish from 2004 to 2008.

“On one occasion when the victim was dropped off for altar service and was alone in the church, the defendant allegedly raped and sexually assaulted him,” the statement read. “On another occasion, the defendant allegedly assaulted the victim again by pressing his body against the victim who was again at Saint Bridget’s for altar serving.”

An arraignment for the 89-year-old has not yet been scheduled.

In a statement, the Archdiocese of Boston said they had been informed of the indictment against Strahan, and said he had been placed on administrative leave by the Archdiocese in October 2019, when the Archdiocese learned of the allegation.

The full statement can be found below:

The Archdiocese of Boston has been informed that a Middlesex County Grand Jury has returned an indictment against Msgr. Francis V. Strahan regarding an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.  Msgr. Strahan was placed on administrative leave by the Archdiocese in October 2019, when the Archdiocese learned of the allegation, which is reported to have taken place in approximately 2006.  At that time, the Archdiocese immediately informed law enforcement and initiated a preliminary canonical investigation into the complaint. The canonical investigation will remain on hold during the pendency of the criminal proceedings. 

Msgr. Strahan will remain on administrative leave without any public ministry pending the outcome.  His resignation as pastor of St. Bridget , Framingham has been accepted. We pray for a just and fair resolution to these proceedings for all involved.  

The Archdiocese of Boston is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of children and young people in our parishes and institutions. Through its Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach, the Archdiocese continues to make counseling and other services available to survivors, their families and parishes impacted by clergy sexual abuse and by allegations of abuse by members of the clergy. Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley encourages any person in need of pastoral assistance or support to contact the Archdiocese’s Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach by calling 617-746-5985.

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