SPRINGFIELD, Mass., March 5 (UPI) -- A Massuchusetts grand jury will be asked to hear sexual abuse charges against former Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Dupre.
Dupre, 70, of Springfield, Mass., was accused of abusing two boys when he was a parish priest in the 1970s. If the grand jury indicts him he will be the first Roman Catholic bishop in the United States to be criminally charged with sexually abusing children, the New York Times said.
At least four bishops have resigned over accusations of sexual abuse since the abuse scandal erupted two years ago.
Dupre said on Feb. 11 he was retiring for health reasons. The day before, The Republican, the Springfield newspaper, confronted him with accusations he had abused the two boys, beginning in the 1970s.
District Attorney William Bennett said the alleged incidents may have happened too long ago for an indictment, but he said also he would ask the grand jury to consider charges of failure to report abuse.