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81-Year-Old Former Priest In Rhode Island Charged With 11 Counts of Child Molestation, Second Time He's Faced Charges

Nov. 9 2021, Published 12:59 p.m. ET

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An 81-year-old former priest from Rhode Island has reportedly been charged with 11 counts of child molestation.

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James Silva has been indicted on two counts of first-degree child molestation and nine counts of second-degree child molestation, according to an announcement by the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office this morning.

The attorney general’s office also disclosed on Tuesday that the crimes occurred between 1989 and 1990 and the alleged victim was a boy under the age of 14 years old.

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At the time, Silva was serving as Interim Director and Assistant Director at the Office of Ministerial Formation within the Diocese of Providence, according to the indictment.

former rhode island priest charged  counts child molestation
Source: MEGA
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Silva held those two roles within the diocese from 1986 to 1991. He was reportedly laicized from the church in 1993.

This announcement from the attorney general’s office comes after Silva’s appearance before a judge yesterday. His bail was reportedly set at $50,000, and as conditions of that bail, Silva cannot contact his alleged victim or make contact with anyone under the age of 18.

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As of this morning, Silva has reportedly still not made bail and remains in custody.

Surprisingly, this is not the first time Silva has been charged with child molestation. He reportedly pleaded guilty in 1995 to one count of second-degree assault, and ultimately was punished with a seven-year suspended sentence with probation.

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According to the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office, this is the third indictment to result so far from their investigations into child sexual abuse accusations and the clergy.

Last November, another former priest named John Petrocelli was indicted on multiple counts of child molestation. This past May, a priest named Edward Kelley was indicted on multiple counts of sexual assault.

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As for Petrocelli, he allegedly molested three males under the age of 14 between 1981 and 1990.

“There is nothing more critical to the mission of my office than to deliver justice on behalf of victims and of the people of Rhode Island, regardless of the time that has passed after the alleged offense,” Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha said at the time of Petrocelli’s indictment. “Our ongoing review of alleged misconduct by clergy in Rhode Island is intended to achieve that result wherever possible.”

former rhode island priest charged  counts child molestation john petrocelli
Source: RI Police

John Petrocelli

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