- The Washington Times - Friday, October 21, 2005

A former member of a Roman Catholic religious order was arrested yesterday in connection with decades-old charges that he sexually abused two boys in Massachusetts.

Edward A. Holmes was indicted Sept. 28 on 17 charges stemming from his 1970s role as a supervisor at a resident youth facility in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston.

“We’ve got him charged as a fugitive from justice,” said Sgt. Joe Gentile, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Department.

Mr. Holmes, 64, was arrested around 7:30 a.m., when police showed up at his apartment just blocks from the Catholic University of America.

Members of the police department’s Youth Investigations Branch took Mr. Holmes into custody based on an outstanding warrant from authorities in Suffolk County, Mass.

Prosecutors in Suffolk County began investigating Mr. Holmes in 2003 after two men came forward. They said the former brother from the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary had molested them over several years when they were residents of the Nazareth Child Care Center.

The now-closed facility once housed youngsters removed from their homes by the Massachusetts Department of Social Services. The pair said the sexual assaults began when they were 9-to-10 years old and continued until both left the center in their midteens.

“The alleged victims were referred to our office by a civil attorney who was representing them,” said David Procopio, a spokesman for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.

Mr. Holmes faces multiple counts of child rape and indecent assault and a single count of posing a child in a state of nudity or sexual conduct.

“He faces significant state prison time if convicted,” Mr. Procopio said in a phone interview.

Under Massachusetts law, each rape charge carries the possibility of life in prison upon conviction. A judge could consider his age and any criminal record in meting out his punishment.

Prosecutors are hoping Mr. Holmes will voluntarily return to Massachusetts next week, but they are prepared to seek his extradition if necessary.

Mr. Holmes was suspended from the Fairhaven, Mass.-based Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in 2000, and expelled two years later.

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