WOBURN, Mass. (AP) — A former Boston-area youth worker pleaded guilty Friday to sexually abusing children decades ago and was sentenced to eight to 10 years in prison.
Paul Collins, 64, of Centereach, New York, must serve 10 years of probation after he is released from prison and wear a GPS monitor. He also is prohibited from doing paid or volunteer work that involves contact with children under 16.
"This case is a reminder of the faith we put in adults and how much of an impact a violation of that trust has on children's lives," Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said in a statement. "Adults involved in youth sports and child care generally are there for the right reasons, but it is always devastating to discover situations like this in which children were harmed."
The charges stem from the late 1970s to 1980, when Collins worked at the Arlington Boys and Girls Club. Prosecutors say he molested several children he met at the club, where he was the aquatic director. He was fired after abuse allegations emerged and left the Boston area, but police weren't notified at the time.
Collins was arrested at his home on New York's Long Island in May 2013. Police learned of the accusations against him while investigating abuse claims against another former Boys and Girls Club employee who has since died.
Collins pleaded guilty in Middlesex Superior Court to rape of a child by force, indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14, and open and gross lewdness.
"This was a horrific, conscience-shocking case that involved abject betrayal by someone entrusted with the care and safety of children," Arlington police Chief Fred Ryan said in a statement.