|Plymouth Pastor Placed on Leave after Allegation of Abuse
By Donis Tracy
February 27, 2009
The Archdiocese of Boston announced Feb. 22 that Father Kenneth A. LeBlanc, pastor of St. Peter Parish in Plymouth, had been placed on administrative leave as a result of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.
The allegation was brought to the attention of the archdiocese by the Middlesex district attorney's office and concerns conduct alleged to have taken place approximately 30 years ago, according to Kelly Lynch, a spokesperson for the archdiocese.
The victim created a website in 2008 detailing Father LeBlanc's alleged sexual abuse of her when she was a 12-year-old parishioner at Most Blessed Sacrament parish in Wakefield.
"This website serves as my personal testimony with hopes that it may encourage other victims past, present and future to come forward and speak up for themselves," the woman writes on her website.
The site also includes the text of an email she sent to Father LeBlanc in November 2008 confronting him with his behavior.
"My memories of you have haunted me for nearly my entire adult life," the text reads. "I think mostly because I felt guilt for not speaking up, then and now! I have long thought that had I ever had the nerve to say something then maybe I would have spared some other young girl the same pain that I felt growing up in a church under your guidance."
"I think I want first to give you the opportunity to respond and then I will decide whether or not I pursue any further action on my part," she stated.
In what the victim says is his response, Father LeBlanc asks forgiveness of the woman but does not admit to abusing her.
"I am so sorry that I might have done anything that upset you. I know that I would not have intentionally done anything to harm you or others. I ask your forgiveness for that and I pray that God's healing may touch your heart," the text reads.
Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley expressed his sadness over this new allegation and reiterated his concern for all persons impacted by sexual abuse.
In a statement announcing the removal, the archdiocese noted that it has launched a preliminary investigation into the complaint and that Father LeBlanc will be on administrative leave pending the outcome of the preliminary investigation.
"The archdiocese will work to resolve this case as expeditiously as possible and in a manner that is fair to all parties," the statement said.
It also stressed that, "The decision to place Father LeBlanc on administrative leave represents the archdiocese's commitment to the safety of all parties and does not represent a determination of Father LeBlanc's guilt or innocence as it pertains to this allegation."
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