Concord Man Accuses Robichaud of Abuse

Associated Press State & Local Wire
April 29, 2002

A Roman Catholic priest already charged with molesting a boy in 1985, also is accused of molesting another teen-ager after getting him drunk in front of other priests, according to a lawsuit filed Monday.

The Rev. George Robichaud molested Keith Murray, 35, of Concord, as many as 30 times between 1982 and 1984, often after giving beers to the then 15-year-old boy, according to the lawsuit filed against Robichaud in Belknap County Superior Court.

"On a number of occasions, other Catholic priests were also present, and alcohol was provided and consumed," Murray's lawyer, Peter Hutchins, wrote in the lawsuit. On at least one occasion, a Catholic nun also was present while Robichaud and the boy drank alcohol together.

According to the lawsuit, the other clergy did not witness the abuse, which happened after they left the boy and Robichaud alone for the night. The other clergy were not named in the lawsuit.

Robichaud - until last week pastor of St. Cecilia's in Wolfeboro and St. Joan of Arc in Alton - was charged Friday with assaulting a child between the ages of 13 and 15 in Sanbornton, where Robichaud lives.

That boy was an altar boy at St. Anthony's Church in Swanzey, where Robichaud was assigned at the time, in 1985.

Belknap County Sheriff Dan Collis has said he expects more charges against Robichaud in Belknap County and some in Cheshire County, home of St. Anthony's.

Robichaud was released on $55,000 cash and personal recognizance bail and was ordered to attend Alcoholics Anonymous and stay away from children.

Diocese of Manchester spokesman Patrick McGee has said Robichaud was placed on administrative leave Friday.

Robichaud's lawyer did not immediately return phone calls Monday.

According to Monday's lawsuit, Murray, who at the time lived in Laconia, was introduced to Robichaud by another priest, who was not named. That priest frequently brought the boy to Robichaud's Sanbornton home, where the abuse allegedly occurred.

The first assault took place on Murray's second or third visit to Robichaud's home and lasted for an hour, according to the lawsuit. Prior to the assaults, the boy had been considering becoming a priest.

Robichaud never spoke of the assaults to the boy, who assumed the priest was too drunk to recall them, the lawsuit said.

Murray came forward about the abuse after Bishop John B. McCormack in February released a list of New Hampshire priests accused of sexual misconduct with children.

A Belknap County Superior Court judge has granted Murray's request to freeze Robichaud's assets in the amount of $500,000, including the priest's Sanbornton home.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
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