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  Rev. Aube Fought to Regain Parish

By Kathryn Marchocki
Union Leader
February 19, 2003

A Manchester diocesan priest and serial child sexual abuser fought to regain a parish assignment and even hired a prominent attorney who threatened to sue the diocese if it did not reassign him as a pastor, several sources said.

But the late Bishop Leo E. O'Neil refused to give in to the Rev. Paul L. Aube's demands and removed him permanently from ministry in July 1994, according to several sources familiar with the 9,000 pages of church and investigative files that will be released by the Attorney General's Office next month.

Aube, who is in his 60s, was assigned as a hospital chaplain after the diocese received a credible allegation of child sexual abuse against him in 1981, sources said.

After another allegation surfaced against him in December 1992, O'Neil asked Aube to go into a residential treatment program, which Aube refused to do, sources said.

Aube, instead, hired attorney John T. Broderick to plead his case before the diocese, sources said.

Broderick, now a state Supreme Court associate justice, aggressively advocated for his client, even threatening to sue the diocese if it did not assign Aube to a parish, which would give him access to children, sources said.

O'Neil would not budge and, after Aube refused several requests to go into residential treatment, O'Neil removed Aube permanently from ministry in 1994, sources said.

An attempt to reach Broderick at the Supreme Court yesterday was unsuccessful.

The documents are part of 9,000 pages of church files and transcripts of witness and victim statements the Attorney General's Office will release March 3 as part of its criminal investigation of the diocese.

They tell a different story than the one Aube told in a recent Associated Press story in which Aube alleged he approached the bishop in 1976 to say he had molested several teenage boys and asked never to be assigned to work with children again.

Aube alleged then Bishop Odore J. Gendron, who retired in 1990, insisted he continue in work that involved youth ministry.

Aube's story did not sit well with one man Aube sexually abused in the 1970s, who says he is angry the priest managed to manipulate himself into a position where he comes off as the victim.

"Paul Aube is no one we should feel sorry for," said the victim, 46, who asked that his name not be used to protect his two younger sons who don't know about the abuse he suffered.

"For him to present himself as a victim of the system is absurd," the victim said. Aube, he said, claimed to have a special calling to minister to youth and constantly sought out assignments with youth.

"He wasn't being forced to minister to youth. That's where he directed his career so he could fulfill his deviant appetite for teenage boys," the victim said.

The victim also disputed Aube's allegations that his abuse was never forcible, violent or serious in nature.

The victim said Aube raped him many times in the 1970s when he was 15 or 16 years old while he served at Guardian Angel Parish in Berlin.

"I can remember crying and screaming at the rectory and wondering why the other priests weren't coming," he said.

The victim said he was one of four teenagers Aube took on a multistate road trip in his motor home during which he took turns raping the boys in the front section of the camper.

The victim, who said he wrote Gendron about his abuse in 1980, said he knows of at least 10 others by name who also were raped by Aube. Sources said Aube has abused at least 12 minors and as many as 20 and has emerged as the most serious, serial sexual offender in the diocese.

After Aube's name was publicly released last year by the diocese as one of 14 priests removed from ministry because of past child sexual abuse, he received partial immunity from prosecution in exchange for his cooperation in the attorney general's criminal investigation of the diocese's handling of child sexual abuse.

The victim, who reached a civil settlement with the diocese this year, said he was interviewed by two investigators with the state Attorney General's Office.

He said he agreed to testify before a criminal grand jury in which the state prosecutors would try to seek an indictment against the diocese. That became unnecessary when the diocese avoided prosecution by reaching an agreement with the attorney general in December.

Aube, who served in parishes in Claremont, Berlin, Nashua and Rochester, was sent for psychological counseling after the 1981 complaint surfaced against him, sources said.

He then was placed in hospital ministry at Concord Hospital and then at Elliot Hospital in Manchester until O'Neil permanently removed him from ministry in 1994, sources said.

Storm postpones meeting: The storm prompted Manchester Bishop John B. McCormack to postpone last night's scheduled meeting with the diocese's parish priests and lay leadership to next week.

The meeting, where McCormack will discuss the future of the church in New Hampshire, will be held Tuesday in Concord.

 
 

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