Diocese of Worcester Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Minor

This Week in Worcester [Worcester, MA]

December 13, 2022

By Tom Marino

The Diocese of Worcester announced that Bishop Robert McManus has determined a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor exists against Reverend Alan J. Martineau and he will remain on leave from his pastoral duties. Martineau was first placed on leave in January.

In a statement issued on Monday, the Diocese said that it scheduled Martineau for transfer to a new parish in January due to “concerns over boundary issues with a minor.” Additional information reported to the Diocese before that transfer took place led McManus to put Martineau on leave.

An independent investigation into the allegations, completed recently, led to McManus making the determination that the allegation are credible.

The Diocese says it notified the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) and law enforcement about the allegations in early February. It also notified the Vatican and began a canonical process to adjudicate the allegation, according to hits statement.

While on leave, the Diocese prohibits Martineau from publicly presenting himself as a priest.

The Diocese first ordained Martineau priest in June 2018, where he served as a temporary associate pastor at Saint Anne’s Parish in Shrewsbury. After spending time at the Vatican, Martineau began serving as administrator of Saint Paul the Apostle Parish in Warren and Saint Stanislaus Parish in West Warren in July 2020, until McManus  ordered him on leave in January.

The Diocese says this is the first allegation claiming an act of sexual abuse of a minor by a diocesan priest in the last 24 years.

In July, the Diocese released a report related to allegations of inappropriate behavior at the St. John’s Food for the Poor program at Saint John’s Parish in Worcester. The report covered allegations of sexual exploitation of female patrons of the program by program director William “Billy” Riley, and allegations of inappropriate conduct, including witness manipulation, by Saint John’s Parish Pastor Fr. John Madden. The report determined claims against Madden were unfounded. The report covered the accusations against Riley, but the determinations of the investigation were nearly all redacted.