Investigation of Accused Priest Continues. NH Catholic Diocese Accused of Stonewalling in Sex Case

Union Leader
March 21, 2002

The former Manchester priest accused of sexually assaulting a boy in the early 1980s remains the target of a criminal investigation in the Queen City.

Meanwhile, an official familiar with the investigation told the Associated Press yesterday that authorities are looking in other communities where the Rev. Ronald E. Corriveau served and more allegations may be involved.

Corriveau, who went on administrative leave as pastor of St. Joseph Church in Epping last Thursday, served at St. Francis of Assisi parish in south Manchester from 1978-1982.

The parish, which has since relocated to Litchfield, had a parochial school that enrolled 280 students at the time.

After leaving St. Francis of Assisi parish, Corriveau served one year each at three churches in Concord and Nashua before being assigned to St. Joseph in Epping in 1985. He also served at churches in Laconia and Salem.

Hillsborough County Attorney Peter McDonough said it is too early to determine if the allegation against Corriveau falls within the statute of limitations.

New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General E. William Delker said his office continues to receive allegations against priests.

"Every day people call with new information," he said. "It's been the exceptional day that we haven't gotten any calls."

McDonough said a victim-witness advocate in his office has received about two reports of clerical sexual abuse since the Catholic Diocese of Manchester last month gave authorities the names of 15 priests accused of past child sexual abuse.

He said his office forwarded these reports to either local police or the Attorney General's Office, he said.

The Attorney General's Office informed the diocese March 11 of the charge made against Corriveau.

It is the first allegation the diocese has received against Corriveau since he was ordained in 1971, diocesan spokesman Pat McGee said. The accusation does not relate to his ministry in Epping.

The Rev. Daniel Lamothe of St. Joseph Church in Salem, where Corriveau served from 1974 to 1976, said those who remember Corriveau speak fondly of him.

"I personally know Father Ron Corriveau and I feel he's done a very good ministry in his church in Epping," Lamothe said. "He's very well liked there."


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