Diocese Provides More Information about Abuse Cases

By Giselle Goodman
Morning Sentinel
January 13, 2009

PORTLAND — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland released new details last night, saying that 14 individuals reported abuse by Thomas Lee, a former priest at St. Philip in Lyman.

A press release from the diocese stated that the information is being provided "to give community perspective on the case and to support complainants who say they have been criticized by the community for making a report of sexual abuse."

Marie Tupper, a mother from Boothbay Harbor, has asked for a meeting with Bishop Richard J. Malone of the Diocese of Portland to discuss the abuse Lee allegedly inflicted on her son years ago.

Columnist Bill Nemitz offers his take on that situation in today's Portland Press Herald, which can be read by clicking this link .

On Monday evening, the diocese sent out a clarification of information regarding allegations of abuse against Lee. In the past, the diocese stated that there were more than two or multiple records of abuse that took place in the early 1980s.

"Specifically, the Diocese of Portland received nine direct and two second-hand reports relating to events involving a total of fourteen individuals, all from the Boothbay Harbor area, where Lee served from 1971 - 1985," stated the press release. "The reports involved issues of inappropriate touching or privacy violations."

No reports were made from Lyman, said the Diocese, where Lee ministered from 1985 - 2003.

Lee, now 81, was removed from the ministry more than five years ago in response to the complaints.

The information did not offer a response to Tupper's request to meet with the bishop.

Rather, it said, "Bishop Malone is calling on the community to be understanding to all involved, most especially those who have made reports."

Tupper said she was too distraught to comment this morning and referred questions to Paul Kendrick, a member of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.


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