Children of Boston U. Professor File Complaint of Abuse

By Matt Negrin
University Wire
December 2, 2005

A pair of 20-year-old twins are suing their father, Boston University professor Rev. Lucien Richard, for not acknowledging them as his children, negligence and sexual abuse, physically and emotionally, according to the complaint.

The defendant works in the University Professors Program and also serves as a priest in the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Lowell.

The lawsuit was filed in the Middlesex Superior Court Nov.14, the daughters' attorney Alan Cantor said.

Cantor said the expected end date for the case is Jan. 8, 2007.

"This is known as a one-year case under our time standards order," he said. "Some cases are one-year cases. Some cases are three-year cases. This is generally a one-year case."

According to the complaint filed by the daughters, "in or about 1978, defendant Rev. Richard initiated a sexual affair with Paulette Peterson," which resulted in an aborted pregnancy in 1980 and another pregnancy in 1984 in which Peterson gave birth to twin girls.

The complaint states the Peterson daughters were sexually, physically and emotionally abused during their childhood by their father, who in addition did not acknowledge or support them.

The Peterson daughters are also taking action against Oblates of Mary Immaculate for failing "to act for the benefit of the plaintiffs once it became aware that an active priest in the order had fathered children in derogation of his vows as a priest," according to the complaint.

The complaint also says Oblates of Mary Immaculate was notified of Richard's "paternity of his daughters and of his failure to support his daughters and the abuse of his daughters.

"OMI nevertheless continued to retain Rev. Richard as a priest," the complaint states, "and failed to take steps to terminate or reduce his abuse towards the plaintiffs. Instead, OMI allowed Rev. Richard to remain in his position as a priest, in the geographical location where the plaintiffs lived, empowering him to continue his abuse of the plaintiffs."

BU spokesman Colin Riley said the university had no official comment on the matter.

"It's a very personal matter," he said.

According to the Middlesex Superior Court clerk's office, the defendant has not officially responded to the complaint yet.

Richard did not respond to repeated attempts for comment.


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