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  In New Lawsuits, 11 Men Allege Sexual Abuse by Clergy

By Kathryn Marchocki
Manchester Union Leader
July 30, 2002

Eleven men allege in lawsuits filed yesterday that they were sexually abused as children by six Catholic priests and a religious brother between 1955 and 1982.

The civil suits, filed in Hillsborough County Superior Court, bring to about 120 the number of people who allege they were molested by New Hampshire Catholic clerics since the church sex scandal broke in January, Manchester attorney Mark A. Abramson said.

The alleged victims, whose ages range from 35 to 55, live in New Hampshire, Abramson said. At least four have reported their alleged abuse to the state Attorney General's Office, he added.

The suits allege:

David Goudreau was 5 years old when the Rev. Leo Shea began molesting him at his home and an Errol camp, he said. The abuse allegedly occurred from 1970 to 1978.

Paul Dubois also alleges he was molested by Shea on a trip to Cape Cod and at an Enfield chalet. The abuse allegedly occurred when he was 12-14 years old. Shea served a state prison term for a 1994 conviction for raping an altar boy. A 2001 diocesan directory lists him as retired and living in Danbury.

James Rodden was an altar boy at Holy Trinity Church in Somersworth when he was molested by the Rev. Leo Landry in 1966-67, he said. Rodden was 12-13 years old at the time.

Landry left the ministry in 1972.

Robin DeRaps alleges Brother Guy Beaulieu molested him at Camp Fatima in Barnstead when he was 10 years old in 1975-76.

Beaulieu, a member of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart religious order, is the target of several other lawsuits already filed by Manchester lawyer Peter E. Hutchins.

An unidentified man was an altar boy at St. Kathryn Church in Hudson when the Rev. Albion Bulger molested him at the church in 1973-74, he said. The alleged victim was 9-10 years old.

Three former altar boys at Sacred Heart Church in Greenville, none of whom were identified, allege the Rev. Francis Lamothe molested them in the 1960s when he was pastor there.

One man says Lamothe abused him when he was 13-14 years old between 1963 and 1964.

The second says Lamothe molested him between 1965 and 1968 in the church basement. He was 10-13 years old at the time.

The third says Lamothe sexually assaulted him between 1969 and 1970, when he was 10-11 years old.

Lamothe already has been accused of molesting children in six other lawsuits filed by Abramson. Lamothe died in 1995.

An unidentified man says the Rev. John R. Poirier molested him on a day trip to Glen Lake. The man said he was between 10-12 years old and an altar boy at St. Catherine Church in Manchester when he was abused.

A second unidentified man also alleges Poirier molested him between 1980 and 1982 on a day trip to Glen Lake when he was about 11-13 years old.

Another unidentified man says he was assaulted and abused by the Rev. Donald Osgood in the priest's car in 1955-1956. The man was 13-14 years old at the time.

Osgood is the target of four other civil suits filed by Abramson. Osgood has left his ministry, a diocesan spokesman has said.

The Rev. Edward J. Arsenault, diocesan chancellor and the bishop's delegate for sexual misconduct, said the diocese had not seen the suits as of last night.

"When we have the information, we will do everything that we can to respond appropriately to the people who have made the accusations," he said.

"I am, at best, confused as to why attorney Abramson would notify the media first of new suits without contacting the church directly. I'm left to ask the question, why call the media first? Who does that help and how is that consistent with the discussions we've had about our mutual desire to help people heal?" Arsenault added.

 
 

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