Globe Appeal Unmasks Names of Officers in Abuse of Defrocked Priest


After an appeal by the Boston Globe, a new version of the investigative report into the slaying of defrocked priest John J. Geoghan names prison officers implicated in wrongdoing.

Sergeant Harold Wilkes was named as the corrections official who failed to substantiate a complaint that the defrocked priest had been assaulted by a guard. The 125-page report also identifies five current and former prison officers who either allegedly assaulted Geoghan or witnessed the abuse. It said former officer Jason Harris allegedly punched Geoghan, and officer Cosmo Bisazza allegedly defecated in Geoghan’s cell.

The names had been withheld by state officials in the report released on Feb. 3, citing privacy of the officers. But Superior Court Judge Janet L. Sanders ordered the names of the correction officers released following an appeal by the Globe.

The panel that investigated the Geoghan case blamed “major administrative breakdowns” for the events that led prison officials to transfer the frail Geoghan, 68, from Concord to Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, where he ended up in the same unit as Joseph L. Druce, a convicted murderer. Druce is charged with killing Geoghan on Aug. 23.

Geoghan was serving nine to 10 years for molesting a 10-year-old boy. He had been accused of abusing 150 children, most of them boys, and was a key figure in the clergy sexual abuse crisis that roiled the Catholic Church.


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