Weymouth priest steps down after abuse allegation

BRAINTREE -- A priest of the Archdiocese of Boston facing sexual abuse allegations for the second time in his career has voluntarily removed himself from active ministry.

Father Charles Murphy, a priest in residence at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Weymouth, stepped aside in recent days while the archdiocese conducts its investigation of the alleged abuse.

“Just over one week ago, the Archdiocese of Boston received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against Father Charles Murphy. The allegation concerns conduct alleged to have taken place approximately forty years ago,” Terry Donilon, spokesman for the archdiocese, said April 6.

“Upon receiving the allegation, the archdiocese immediately notified civil authorities of the accusation. Further, the archdiocese initiated an investigation into this matter. As a result of the allegation made, Father Murphy has voluntarily agreed to refrain from public ministry while the accusation is being investigated,” he continued.

Mitchell Garabedian, attorney for the now 53-year-old alleged victim, said the alleged abuse happened in the early 1970s when his client was 14. Garabedian said it took place while Father Murphy was serving at St. Agatha Parish in Milton.

Father Murphy was reinstated in April 2006 after other allegations of sexual abuse of a minor made against him were found to be unsubstantiated by the archdiocese. Father Murphy had been placed on administrative leave by the archdiocese in August 2004 after receiving the accusations.

“Any previous allegations against Father Murphy were vigorously denied by Father Murphy, and ultimately dropped by plaintiffs’ counsel,” Donilon said in a separate statement.

Father Murphy, now a senior priest, was ordained in 1960.

Associated Press materials contributed to this report.