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Maximum Sentence for Priest who Molested Boys

November 15, 1994

KEENE, N.H. (AP) _ A former priest sentenced to 33 1/2 to 67 years in prison for raping an altar boy a decade ago is likely to remain a sexual predator, the sentencing judge says.

″The prospects for your rehabilitation are very poor. There is no credible evidence you will respond to treatment,″ Cheshire County Superior Court Judge Arthur Brennan told Gordon MacRae on Monday.

MacRae, 41, was convicted in September of raping Thomas Grover. After being convicted, he pleaded guilty to assaulting three other boys in 1983 at St. Bernard’s Church.

Grover and his brothers, David, 28, and John, 25, testified that MacRae had betrayed their trust and violated them. Two other men also testified MacRae abused them a decade ago.

Before pleading guilty, MacRae had sued the Grover brothers, the Keene police department and the police detective who investigated him, for conspiracy and besmirching his reputation.

Brennan cited the lawsuits as evidence of MacRae’s contempt for his victims.

In 1988, MacRae was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of soliciting a 14- year-old boy to engage in sex. The court ordered him to undergo counseling at a center for troubled priests in New Mexico.

He had completed his counseling and was working in an administrative role at the center when indicted in New Hampshire.

Defense attorney James Davis argued the former priest should be sentenced to no more than seven years because MacRae hadn’t threatened or abducted anyone.

″I just hope when he goes to bed at night he feels as alone as I did. It may never be enough in the final chapter,″ Grover said.

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