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Harvard Professor, Wife Accused of Child Abuse

Associated Press

A Harvard University expert on ancient Assyria and his church administrator wife have been charged with sexually assaulting two grandchildren, a prosecutor’s spokesman said.

William Moran, a 64-year-old Harvard professor of Assyriology, and his 61-year-old wife, Suzanne, administrator of the First Congregational Church here, were arraigned today in Middlesex Superior Court.

Outside court, their attorney, Brackett Denniston, said “They are innocent and expect to be vindicated after vigorously contesting the charges.”

The charges were announced Thursday by Thomas Samoluk, a spokesman for the Middlesex County district attorney’s office.

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The Morans are accused of sexually assaulting their grandson, now 7, and granddaughter, now 4, from June, 1985, to June, 1987, Samoluk said.

Suzanne Moran is charged with forcible rape of a child under 16 years old and indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 on various dates. Samoluk said the forcible part of the charge involved a sharp instrument and threats made to the children that their parents would be killed if they spoke of the abuse.

Moran is charged with rape and abuse of a child under 16 and indecent assault and battery of a child under 14.

Samoluk said the Massachusetts Department of Social Services and the district attorney’s office were contacted last month after the children’s parents moved to another state and noticed abnormal behavior in the youngsters.

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