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  Pastor's Use of Parish Computer Investigated

By Kathryn Marchocki
Union Leader
January 31, 2003

The pastor of an Epping Catholic church remains under investigation for possible misuse of a parish computer, authorities said yesterday.

The New Hampshire State Police crime lab is doing a forensic analysis of the computer's hard drive to determine whether the Rev. Ronald E. Corriveau engaged in any criminal activity, Rockingham County Attorney James M. Reams said.

Reams said the case involves possible sexual activity over the Internet.

"We don't think there is a victim," he said.

Corriveau has been on administrative leave from St. Joseph Parish in Epping since last March, when a Goffstown man alleged the priest had sexually assaulted him when he was 15 years old in 1982.

Corriveau was a priest at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Manchester at that time.

Last May, Manchester police informed Epping police that they "discovered things on the hard drive of that computer that concerned them greatly," Epping Police Chief Gregory C. Dodge said.

Dodge said diocesan attorney Brad Cook also contacted them.

The diocese gave Epping police a copy of the hard drive, which was sent to the crime lab in Concord for forensic analysis, Dodge said.

It is not known when the analysis of the hard drive's contents would be done, though it could take up to a year, Dodge said.

"I personally have reviewed some documents from that hard drive, and I saw some things that were possibly disturbing, but nothing criminal in nature," Dodge said.

He would not characterize the nature of the material.

Corriveau was accused last March of fondling John A. Moody, 35, of Goffstown in 1982 after a party he and several other minors attended at the St. Francis of Assisi rectory, court papers said.

The case was settled out of court last summer, said Moody's attorney, Peter E. Hutchins of Manchester. He would not disclose the details of the settlement.

Moody decided not to bring criminal charges after reaching the civil settlement, Hutchins said.

"As we moved toward resolving the case, the prospect of going through a long, criminal case was unsettling to him," he explained.

Hutchins said his client "didn't harbor any ill will toward Corriveau. He wanted him to pay. He wanted him to see what he did. But he didn't want him to go to jail."

When deposed last summer, Corriveau said the abuse was a "one-time thing," and Hutchins said there has been nothing to indicate he was involved in further abuse.

Corriveau will remain on administrative leave until the criminal investigation is complete, diocesan attorney Pat McGee said.

Corriveau has been living on his own since he went on leave, McGee said.

CORRECTION-DATE: March 12, 2003

CORRECTION: (HEAD: Pastor's use of parish computer investigated STORY By KATHRYNMARCHOCKI RAN 20030131)--In a Page B3 article on Jan. 31, attorney Peter E.Hutchins was misquoted with regard to a lawsuit his client brought against theRev. Ronald E. Corriveau. Corriveau did not admit in a deposition to any sexualabuse of Hutchins' client. Hutchins said it was his and his client's belief that the alleged abuse was a "one-time thing."

 
 

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