Abuse Survivor Wants to Keep Accused Rapist in Jail
By Dustin Wlodkowski
February 11, 2017
A former Catholic priest and convicted sex offender is now facing 29 new counts of sexual misconduct here in Maine.
Ronald Paquin appeared in court Friday morning in Massachusetts, charged with being a fugitive from justice.
Officials expect he will be brought to Maine soon.
One of the accusers, Keith Townsend of Seabrook, New Hampshire, told NEWS CENTER'S Dustin Wlodkowski his story.
“It's difficult, it's difficult because you're never going to get it out of your mind,” said Townsend.
Townsend has many black holes in the memory of his childhood.
The reason, he says -- his then priest, Paquin, raped him.
The alleged abuse started when he was just eight-years-old.
Eventually, Townsend says, Paquin would take boys on trips to trailer he had in Kennebunkport.
“We would go up with a group of the altar boys and we'd always stop at the state liquor barn, load up on whatever we wanted and keep in mind, this is happening at eight years-old and nine years-old. By the time we were 11 to 12 years old, we were driving the parish vehicle by ourselves, drinking and driving through Biddeford while other boys were back at the trailer being raped.”
Emotional torment became PTSD.
Around 20 years after his last trip to Maine, Townsend went to the Kennebunkport Police Department in 2015 to tell his story.
“I didn't know if anyone would believe a story as old as this, but all I could think of is, how many victims are going through what I'm going through,” said Townsend.
Paquin had just gotten out of jail in Massachusetts and Townsend was on his way to becoming sober.
He says he started drinking and using cocaine as a teenager, as a way to bury pain from the abuse.
That eventually led to six years of jail time.
He was even in jail when his daughter was born.
“You lose a better part of your life, so I'm just starting to live now at 42-years-old. I'm getting my license back next month,” said Townsend.
“Things are falling in order for me.”
The pictures he's holding show memories Townsend is trying not to focus on.
Instead of being a victim, Townsend wants to be a helper.
He hopes his story pushes more abuse survivors to start healing and keeps others safe from a man he says is still dangerous.
“If I don't speak up, who's going to? “People live in silence, you don't have to live like this, you don't have to.”