Claim of sexual abuse of minor against Father Alan J. Martineau ‘credible,’ says Bishop McManus

The Republican - MassLive [Springfield MA]

December 12, 2022

By Tom Matthews

Bishop Robert J. McManus has determined that an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor levied against a Diocese of Worcester priest is credible.

The diocese announced Monday that the allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against Father Alan J. Martineau is credible. Martineau has been on administrative leave since January. He will remain on leave and cannot present himself as a priest, the diocese said in a release Monday.

“The Department of Children and Families (DCF) and law enforcement authorities have been notified in a timely manner and a canonical process, including notice to the Vatican, has been initiated to adjudicate the allegation,” the diocese said.

Martineau was scheduled to be transferred to a new parish to “benefit from the tutelage of a seasoned pastor because of concerns over boundary issues with a minor, and for other pastoral issues,” according to the diocese. The announcement did not specify the other pastoral issues.

But before that reassignment took place, additional information was reported to the diocese that prompted McManus to place Martineau on leave, suspend his faculties to function publicly as a priest, and begin an independent investigation, the diocese said.

The concerns surrounding Martineau were shared with DCF and law enforcement in early February. The diocese’s independent investigation was “recently” completed, the announcement said.

Martineau was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Worcester in June 2018. He served as a temporary associate pastor at St. Anne’s Parish in Shrewsbury before returning to Rome for advanced studies. In July 2020, he was appointed administrator of St. Paul’s Parish in Warren and St. Stanislaus’ Parish in West Warren.

According to the Catholic Free Press, Martineau is a graduate of St. Jonh’s High School in Shrewsbury and Assumption University in Worcester.

In an interview with the paper, Martineau said that, when he was considering becoming a priest, some of his fellow high school students said, “You’re signing up to be a pedophile.”

This is the first allegation in 24 years claiming sexual abuse of a minor by a Worcester diocesan priest, according to the diocese.

The news comes just days after the diocese told MassLive, “there is no public precedent” for the publishing of lists of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse.

In the two decades since widespread child abuse within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston came to light, every diocese in Massachusetts has released a list of the credibly accused priests — except the Diocese of Worcester.

In March, the diocese announced that it would be placing William ‘Billy’ Riley, the then-director of the St. John Food for the Poor Program, on administrative leave pending an investigation of claims into “illegal activity involving adults.”

At the conclusion of the investigation, Riley resigned from his position. However, the diocese did not share if the claims against Riley were warranted or if any legal action was being taken against him. The section of a report the diocese released that stated if the claims were warranted was redacted before its release to the public.