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  Substantial Evidence LED to Naming Nine Priests, Diocese Says
They Are Among 25 Dead Church Officials Accused of Sexually Abusing Children in Maine over Many Years

By John Richardson
Portland Press Herald (Maine)
July 17, 2005

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland on July 3 identified nine dead priests who have been accused of sexually abusing children around the state decades ago.

The nine are among 25 deceased priests, a nun and other church officials investigated by the Attorney General's Office. A court ordered the state to release the names and its files on the dead priests.

The diocese says the nine priests it named are ones who face substantiated allegations and would likely have been removed from ministry if they were still alive. In the other cases, it says, there was not enough information or substantiation in the files to meet that standard.

What follows is a closer look at the nine priests, drawn primarily from the AG's records. Names of victims and witnesses were removed from the records before their release. Some details, such as dates, were provided by the diocese in response to follow-up questions by the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram.

Monsignor Henry Boltz

Boltz is perhaps the most prominent Catholic priest accused of sexual abuse in Maine.

He spent 35 years at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland, the seat of the bishop of Portland. From 1931 to 1966 he was the cathedral's organist and directed a 60-voice boys choir that was known throughout New England. He was elevated to the rank of monsignor in 1952.

Two men came forward after Boltz's death and reported that Boltz sexually molested them when they were boys in the 1940s and 1950s. The first allegations against him were reported in 1986, according to the diocese.

One man said Boltz repeatedly abused him when he was between the ages of 10 and 17. He said Boltz took him to Boltz's camp, which meant "sleeping with one eye open," the man reported. The man said the abuse was sometimes violent and that one incident resulted in him splitting his head.

Sue Bernard, spokeswoman for the diocese, said it appears that Boltz had a camp adjoining Camp Pesquasawasis, a diocesan youth camp in Poland more commonly known as "Camp Pesky."

Another man said he was sexually abused by Boltz twice while a student at Cathedral school around 1950. He was from a poor family and his father had died, and Boltz bought him presents and clothes, the man said. There is no description of the abuse in the AG's report.

Boltz retired in 1966 and later moved to Washington state, where he died in 1970 at the age of 79.

The Rev. Ralph Corbeil

Corbeil is accused of sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl in Fort Kent in 1948 and repeatedly molesting an altar boy in Lewiston between 1952 and 1958.

The Fort Kent incident was reported by a man who said he witnessed the abuse when he walked into a room of the girl's house and found Corbeil having sex with her.

"There followed an angry confrontation in which he told me they were in love. This priest was approximately 40 years old," the man wrote in a letter to the Cumberland County district attorney in 2002. The relationship with the girl apparently continued after that confrontation.

"A few years later, some of the town fathers went to Portland, Maine, to talk to the (bishop) about the problem," he wrote.

Bernard, the diocesan spokeswoman, said there is no record of such a meeting. Corbeil's file did include an anonymous letter in 1953 regarding the priest and an adult woman, she said.

A former altar boy in Lewiston reported to the Attorney General's Office in 2004 that Corbeil kissed him and had oral sex with him two to three times a week in the sacristy of St. Mary's Church in Lewiston. The abuse took place while he was between the ages of 10 and 14.

The man said Corbeil paid him $5 every time so that he would not tell anyone. He said he felt he couldn't tell his parents, whom he said had asked the priest to talk to him about sex.

Between 1953 and 1969, Corbeil served in Portland, Scarborough, Old Orchard Beach, Waterville, Fort Kent, Springvale, Lewiston, Daigle and Madawaska. He died in 1973.

The Rev. John Crozier

Crozier is accused of molesting three boys and a girl in the 1960s and 1970s in Orono, where he was the pastor at St. Mary's. The abuse took place at the rectory and at Crozier's camp, according to the victims' reports.

The victims came forward in the mid-1990s, after Crozier's death, and reported the abuse to church officials.

Crozier got the boys drunk and did "whatever he wanted," one of the men reported. He said the priest took him and his brother to his camp, locked them in separate rooms and molested them. The abuse finally stopped when the boy got old enough to resist.

A woman reported that Crozier told her that if she did what he wanted, he wouldn't touch her younger brother.

A Portland native, Crozier was ordained in 1949 and served at St. Joseph's in Portland, St. Joseph's in Lewiston and St. Christopher's on Peaks Island before serving at St. Mary's in Orono from 1969 until 1981.

He was transferred to Sacred Heart in Portland from 1981 to 1983 and spent some of that time at Guest House for alcohol-abuse treatment, but could not stay sober, according to church documents referred to in the attorney general's records.

Crozier moved to the Virgin Islands and then to Mount St. Joseph's Home in Waterville before dying in 1990.

The Rev. Dominic Doyon

Doyon was a Dominican priest accused of molesting two boys in Lewiston in the 1960s and '70s, when he lived in the monastery at SS Peter and Paul church.

Two men have accused Doyon of touching them. One of the men also says Doyon performed oral sex on him.

Few details about Doyon or the allegations are included in the attorney general's records. It's unclear where else he was assigned in Maine or even when he died.

The Rev. Antonio Girardin

Girardin is accused of molesting a girl and three boys in various parishes around the state between 1943 and 1971. The girl and at least one of the boys were about 10 or 11 years old at the time.

The earliest reported abuse took place in South Berwick around 1943, according to the records. A woman said she was about 11 years old, attending St. Michael's school and planning to become a nun, when Girardin repeatedly kissed and fondled her over the course of about a year.

She reported the abuse to the diocese in 1993 and wrote a letter to the Attorney General's Office in 2002.

Girardin told her the kissing and touching were how people showed each other they cared for each other and he gave her $1 each time. "This is what they taught kids. Fire, hell and damnation if you don't do as they preached and taught," the woman wrote.

The abuse by Girardin made her vulnerable to several other men who molested her in the next several years, she wrote.

Three men have come forward to accuse Girardin of abusing them many years after he was transferred from South Berwick.

One man reported that Girardin kissed and fondled him repeatedly for more than year when he was about 10 years old in Millinocket around 1968 and 1969.

Another man reported that Girardin molested him when he was an altar boy in Pittsfield sometime between 1960 and 1967.

And the mother of another man said her son was an altar boy in Pittsfield around the same time and told her Girardin molested him. The mother said she did not believe the son at the time and did not report it until more recently, according to the records.

Girardin was ordained in 1937 and died in 1974 at the age of 64. He served in Stonington, Waterville, South Berwick, South Portland, Westbrook, Pittsfield, Millinocket and Winslow.

The Rev. Lucien Mandeville

Mandeville is accused of sexually abusing three boys decades ago in at least two different parishes.

One man reported in 2002 that Mandeville took him for a ride in Lewiston around 1944, when he was 8 years old and a member of St. Mary's parish. Mandeville kissed him, fondled him and put lipstick on him before letting him out of the car, the man said.

Another man said Mandeville molested him in Rumford in the 1950s, when he was 13 or 14 years old. The man believed Mandeville also abused his younger brother. When the man told his parents about the incidents, they punished him for lying about the priest, he said. He also reported the abuse to the diocese in 2002.

A third allegation that Mandeville abused a different boy includes no details about when or where the abuse took place or when it was reported. The report apparently was made by someone who knew the victim.

Mandeville was ordained in 1935 and served in St. Agatha, Augusta, Fort Kent, Sanford, Lewiston, Rumford, Waterville, Oquossuc, Dover-Foxcroft, Old Town, Winslow, Dexter and Lisbon Falls.

He retired in 1973 and died in 1984 at the age of 75.

The Rev. Lucien McKeone

McKeone is accused of sexually abusing two girls and one boy before he died in 1980. The first report was made in 1993, according to the diocese.

One man reported being molested repeatedly in the early 1960s while living in Rumford. He was 10 or 11 years old at the time, he said.

A woman reported that McKeone fondled her and "forced himself on her" many times over a five-year period when she was between the ages of 15 and 20. McKeone was close to her family, she said, and vacationed with them at a camp.

The woman's sister also reported that McKeone abused her and that she keeps having dreams of fighting him off and trying to push him away.

McKeone was ordained in 1959 and served in Portland, Rumford, Lewiston, Auburn, Biddeford and Woodland. He died in 1980 at the age of 47.

The Rev. Lawrence Sabatino

Sabatino is accused of sexually abusing more than a dozen girls, mostly in Portland, between 1958 and 1972.

The allegations against the Portland native are considered the worst case in Maine because of the number of victims, and because church officials were told he had sexually abused an 8-year-old girl in Lewiston in 1958 before transferring him to St. Peter's church in Portland where he would supervise an after-school sodality for young girls.

The attorney general's records show that 13 other women, including many members of the sodality, later came forward to say he abused them in Portland.

Since the allegations against Sabatino were released and described in the Maine Sunday Telegram last month, several more woman have called the newspaper with stories about being abused by Sabatino.

The women say Sabatino would touch them and grind himself against them. He would abuse girls while playing hide-and-seek with them in the parish hall at St. Peter's or on field trips to the woods or the beach, they said.

Many of the women report that the abuse continues to cause anxiety, nightmares and other problems 30 to 40 years after it happened.

Sabatino was ordained in 1955 and served in Lewiston, Portland, Millinocket, Brewer, Brownville Junction and Pittsfield. He died in 1990.

The Rev. James Vallely

Vallely is accused of sexually abusing five boys, four of them in the Portland area, between 1953 and 1962.

Church officials publicly acknowledged sexual abuse allegations against Vallely in 1993 when one victim, Larry Gray, reported the abuse.

Vallely, who had retired to Florida, was removed from active ministry as a result of the accusations, according to the records.

Vallely kissed and fondled the boys, who were between the ages of 9 and 12 years old, according to the reports.

The earliest report of abuse took place in Bangor in 1953. A man said he was an altar boy at St. John's church and Vallely would take him and other boys swimming at a camp.

Three other men said Vallely abused them when they were altar boys at St. Dominic's church in Portland in the late 1950s and early 1960s. One of those former altar boys was Gray, who said Vallely abused him at least weekly between 1958 and 1960.

A fifth man reported being abused by Vallely in the Portland area, but did not provide any more details, according to the report.

Vallely was ordained in 1949 in Oregon and moved to Maine in 1950. He served in Sheridan, Waterville, Bangor, Portland, South Portland, Limestone, Machias and South Berwick before retiring in 1988.

He died in 1997 at the age of 75.

CORRECTION-DATE: July 19, 2005

CORRECTION:


A story Sunday on Page B1 incorrectly stated the number of priests the Portland Diocese is seeking to defrock for alleged sexual abuse. The diocese sent the names of eight priests to the ecclesiastical court in Rome for this purpose. It was a reporter's error. Also, an accompanying story on Page B4 should have said the Rev. Dominic Doyon, who lived in the monastery at Saints Peter and Paul in Lewiston, was not assigned to any other parishes in Maine.

 
 

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