Lawyer Files 11 Lawsuits against Priests

By J.M. Hirsch
Associated Press
July 29, 2002

Concord, NH - Eleven men filed lawsuits Monday accusing six Roman Catholic priests and one member of a religious order of sexually assaulting them while they were children, one when he was just 5 years old.

The allegations, contained in lawsuits filed by Mark Abramson in Hillsborough Country Superior Court, range from the 1950s to the early 1980s and involve children mostly in their early teens.

Two men, David Goudreau and Paul Dubois, accuse the Rev. Leo Shea of molesting them in Enfield. Goudreau says the abuse started when he was 5 years old around 1970 and lasted until about 1978.

Dubois accuses Shea of molesting him for about two years, starting when he was 12. Among the allegations, Dubois said Shea assaulted him while on a trip to Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

Shea, who pleaded guilty in February 1994 to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old altar boy and was sentenced to three to six years in prison, did not return a telephone call. He is retired and living in Danbury, according to a 2001 church directory.

Five previously filed lawsuits accuse Shea of abuse during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Three of the men accuse the Rev. Francis Lamothe of assaulting them, all during the 1960s. The men, who were not identified, were altar boys and say they were molested while Lamothe was pastor at Sacred Heart in Greenville.

Lamothe, who died in 1995, also is accused of molesting children in six other lawsuits filed by Abramson. The alleged abuse in those cases involves six men and ranges from 1959 to 1981.

In Monday's lawsuits, two men accused the Rev. John Poirier of molesting them while he was pastor at St. Catherine in Manchester. Both men, who were not identified, served as altar boys and said Poirier molested them on swimming trips.

On Feb. 15, Bishop John McCormack released a list of 14 priests against whom credible allegations of sexual abuse had been made. Poirier was the only clergyman on the list still serving in the priesthood at the time it was released.

Poirier, who until then was pastor of Holy Family parish in Gorham, was placed on leave that day. He did not have a listed telephone number and could not be reached.

Another man, James Rodden, accused the Rev. Leo Landry of assaulting him while an altar boy at Holy Trinity in Somersworth between 1966 and 1967. Rodden was 12 at the time.

Landry, who faces similar allegations in two other lawsuits, left the priesthood in 1972 to marry. Landry did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

Two men who were not identified accused the Revs. Albion Bulger and Donald Osgood of assaulting them. One man said Bulger molested him for about a year starting in 1973 when he was 9. At the time, Bulger was pastor of St. Kathryn in Hudson, where the man was an altar boy. Bulger could not be reached.

The second man says Osgood assaulted him in the priest's vehicle when he was about 13 around 1955 or 1956. Osgood, who faces three similar lawsuits from the same period, could not be reached.

And Robin DeRaps said he was abused at Camp Fatima by Brother Guy Beaulieu when he was 10 around 1975 or 1976. Beaulieu faces several similar allegations involving the camp.

Beaulieu is a member of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart religious order that owns and operates Bishop Guertin High School in Nashua. Reached by telephone, he declined to comment.


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