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Inmate Apparently Claims Geoghan Death

September 12, 2003

BOSTON (AP) _ A letter purporting to be from Joseph L. Druce, the convict accused of killing former priest John Geoghan in prison, claims Druce was sexually abused as a child and calls for tougher measures against those who prey on children.

The letter calls child sex abuse a ``plague on our children.″

``This was’nt (sic) a crime to commite (sic) a crime, but to let the world no (sic) that all child predators must be dealt with with a more stryngent (sic) hand,″ the letter said.

The handwritten letter also includes an apology to Geoghan’s sister and a call for political action to crack down on child sex abusers.

The letter, postmarked Sept. 4, was received by The Catholic Free Press, the weekly newspaper of the Worcester diocese, which published a story about it.

The letter bore Druce’s correct prison ID number and a Department of Correction stamp. It was postmarked from Worcester, as is all mail from the Souza-Baranowski maximum-security prison in Shirley, where Druce is being held.

Department of Correction spokesman Justin Latini said, ``It’s reasonable to believe he mailed that letter,″ but acknowledged he couldn’t rule out fraud.

Druce’s attorney, John LaChance, said Friday he couldn’t verify the letter’s authenticity. LaChance has said that Druce wanted to avenge the children Geoghan was accused of molesting.

Druce, 38, was indicted Thursday on a murder charge alleging he beat and strangled Geoghan in Geoghan’s cell at Souza-Baranowski on Aug. 23. Druce is serving a life sentence for the 1988 murder of a gay man. Authorities said he hates homosexuals, Jews, blacks and other minorities.

Geoghan, 68, was serving a nine- to 10-year sentence for groping a 10-year-old boy and was accused of molesting nearly 150 boys over three decades.

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