June 21, 2024

The Diocese of Fall River has issued the following statement on the trial of Father Mark Hession:

The jury in the trial of Father Mark Hession in Barnstable Superior Court has reached a verdict of not guilty on both counts of rape. The jury was not able to reach a verdict on the remaining count, indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, resulting in a mistrial on that count. The Barnstable County District Attorney will now decide whether to re-try the indecent assault charge.

The Diocese of Fall River acknowledges how distressing this matter has been to many in the Catholic community and also to victims of sexual abuse. Trials like this can be especially difficult for victims of clergy abuse. This distress has also been felt acutely by those to whom Father Hession ministered as a priest in particular to those whom he served as pastor. Our prayers are with all those who are anguished in any way by this troubling matter.

Father Hession is currently on administrative leave from priestly ministry and will remain so pending the outcome of all legal and canonical (church) proceedings.

Diocese of Fall River
Diocese of Fall River
Office of Communications