Former priest convicted of raping altar boy dies in prison
SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - A former Catholic priest has died in prison while serving a life sentence for repeatedly raping an altar boy.
Louisiana state corrections spokesman Ken Pastorick tells The Houma Courier that 82-year-old Robert Lester "Bobby" Melancon died of natural causes this month. Melancon was convicted in 1996 of the aggravated rape of an altar boy. Prosecutors said then that the boy, who turned 19 during the four-day trial, was abused from 1985 to 1991 while Melancon was a priest in Terrebonne Parish.
His lawyers have said the allegations were false and came about after the victim learned that Melancon had paid $30,000 to settle a separate child sex abuse lawsuit. He was serving time at a minimum-security prison near Shreveport when he died. He maintained his innocence.