Man Recounts Alleged Sexual Assault by Priest in Kennebunkport
Bangor Daily News
February 9, 2017
A former Massachusetts priest convicted of raping an altar boy is now accused of abusing boys at his camp in Kennebunkport during the 1980s.
On Tuesday, the York County grand jury indicted 74-year-old Ronald Paquin on 29 counts of gross sexual misconduct.
Police in Kennebunkport said their investigation started in 2011, when a victim came forward reporting years of abuse.
Policy at Portland television station WGME, CBS 13, is to not name victims of sexual assault, but one alleged victim is choosing to share his story publicly for the first time.
Keith Townsend said he lived in a house next door to St. John the Baptist Church in Haverhill, where Paquin was priest.
“I remember, the first time he touched me I was sitting on his lap driving his brand new Toyota Cressida, at 8 years old,” Townsend said.
He said touching eventually turned to rape.
On weekends, Townsend said, Paquin would take him to a trailer he owned at a campground in Kennebunkport, often other boys would join, and they’d stop at a liquor store on the way.
According to court documents, it went on for almost three years in the late 1980s, but at the time, Townsend kept quiet.
“A lot of guilt, a lot of anger, a lot of confusion, so basically my entire life I’ve just drank and tried to bury this,” Townsend said.
In 2002, Paquin was convicted of three counts of rape of a child in Massachusetts and accused of molesting others. He spent 10 years in prison and was released in 2015.
“Just such a pit in my stomach, then it immediately went from disgust to absolute fear,” Townsend said.
That’s when Townsend decided it was time to come forward.
“This whole motivating factor besides keeping predator off the street is all for the victims,” Townsend said. “Their stories have never been heard, they’ve never had a day in court. Some are still silenced.”
Of the 29 counts of gross sexual misconduct that Paquin was recently indicted on, 13 name Townsend as the victim. Sixteen counts name another man.
CBS 13 reached out to the Boston Archdiocese for comment but did not hear back. Paquin couldn’t be reached for comment.
Detective David Breault said there’s still a long road ahead.
“Oh it’s very important, especially for the victims, they’ve been living with this and dealing with this for a very long time, so we’re happy to be able to provide that peace for them hopefully,” Breault said.
Townsend hopes Paquin will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
CBS 13 has been told a warrant is out for Paquin’s arrest in Massachusetts, and at some point, he is expected to be extradited to Maine to face the charges.
Police said they suspect there may be even more victims in this case, and they are asked to call police.