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Former Altar Boy Coordinator At Dorchester Church Charged With Sexual Abuse

BOSTON (CBS) – A former altar boy coordinator at a Dorchester church was arraigned Wednesday on charges that he sexually abused a child in the 1980s.

Prosecutors say Michael Walsh, who was altar boy coordinator at St. Brendan's Church in Dorchester, sexually abused a child over the course of three years starting in 1988.

The victim, now 38 years old, just came forward to police this year.

Walsh pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of child rape and indecent assault and battery. The crimes allegedly occurred between 1988 and 1991 when the victim was in fourth through sixth grades.

Prosecutors say Walsh used his position as an altar boy coordinator and as a coach with Cedar Grove baseball to gain access and sexually abuse the victim.

The abuse happened all over Boston, including Walsh's house in Dorchester, his car, office and even at a hotel during a baseball team field trip to Cooperstown, New York, prosecutors said.

In 2002, Walsh moved to Michigan and became a priest.

But one month later he was relieved of those duties because allegations of sexual abuse surfaced in connection with St. Francis de Sales Church in Charlestown - another church Walsh had close ties with.

Walsh pleaded not guilty to all charges and was released on his own recognizance.

He was ordered to stay away from the victim, to wear a GPS monitoring device, and told not to leave the state.

A trial date is set for next September.

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