Priest charged with sexual assault defrocked

The Rev. Barry Meehan at his arraignment on five counts of first-degree sex assault.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Rhode Island priest charged with five counts of first degree sexual assault has been defrocked.

Barry Meehan was dismissed from the priesthood Thursday, according to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence.

Police said he was assigned to St. Mary’s in Cranston when one assault happened, then at St. Augustine’s in Providence when the others took place.

Meehan was removed from active ministry in 2013.

In November, he pleaded not guilty and was released on bail. The case is still ongoing.

Meehan can now appeal his dismissal from the priesthood.

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