Former Bishop Thomas Dupre, the first Roman Catholic bishop in the United States to be indicted on a sexual-abuse claim during the flood of abuse accusations against church officials, has died. He was 83, the Diocese of Springfield (Massachusetts) said. He died outside the diocese, but the location and the cause of his death weren’t disclosed.
Dupre, who became bishop in the mid-1990s, cited health reasons for his sudden retirement in 2004. Months later he was indicted on charges he raped two boys in the 1970s, but the case was dropped because prosecutors determined the statute of limitations had expired.
Before Dupre became bishop he had been an aide of Bishop Joseph Maguire, who led the diocese from 1977 to 1992 and faced allegations after retirement that clergy sex abuse and a cover-up had happened on his watch.