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Cape Cod priest accused of rape found not guilty




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“We believed in our case. I want to recognize the victim’s courage to come into court to testify, and we respect the jurors’ verdict.”

A Cap Cod priest who was accused of two counts of rape between 2005 and 2008 has been found not guilty by a Barnstable Superior Court jury.

The priest, Mark Hession, served as the parish priest for Our Lady of Victory in Centerville from 2000 to 2014, according to The Cap Cod Times.

He pleaded not guilty to all charges on the 2021 indictment, including one count of assault and battery on a child under 14, alleged to have happened in 2002, according to the paper.

On the assault and battery charge, the jury couldn’t reach a verdict last week, according to reports. Judge Mark C. Gildea declared a mistrial, according to the news publication. 

The jury deliberated for five days in total. 

“We believed in our case. I want to recognize the victim’s courage to come into court to testify, and we respect the jurors’ verdict,” Cape and Islands District Attorney Rob Galibois told the Times.

A 36-year-old man testified that he was sexually abused by Hession in 2002, according to reports. He said Hession had raped him and forced him to perform other sex acts while he was working on a science class project at the church, according to the news outlet.

The defense then said there was a lack of eyewitness testimony to support the man’s claims, according to the paper. 

Hession didn’t testify during the trial, according to the Times.  

Hession has been on leave from the church since 2019, according to the paper. The Diocese of Fall River received complaints about him concerning inappropriate communications, according to the Times.





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