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Prosecutors seek to have ex-priest who has finished sex abuse sentence civilly committed

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SALEM, Massachusetts — Massachusetts prosecutors want a former Roman Catholic priest convicted of sexually abusing children civilly committed indefinitely now that his prison term has ended.

Essex County prosecutors went before a Salem Superior Court judge Friday to start the process to have 72-year-old Ronald Paquin held in a state hospital as a sexually dangerous person.

Paquin pleaded guilty in 2003 to sexually assaulting a 12-year-old altar boy at a Haverhill church. His 12-year prison sentence ended in May, but he remains detained until his status is resolved.

A forensic psychologist testified at a probable cause hearing Friday that Paquin is still a dangerous sexual predator. The hearing was continued to Aug. 18.

If a judge decides there is probable cause that Paquin should be civilly committed, a trial would be held.

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