State Supreme Court Hears Case Alleging Priest Sex Abuse

By Scott Dolan
Portland Press Herald
June 11, 2013

BANGOR – Attorneys in the case of an Augusta man who accused a priest of sexually abusing him as a child argued before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday whether the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland was obligated to disclose that the same priest was later accused of abusing other children.

William Picher of Augusta accused Raymond Melville of sexually abusing him when he was a student at St. Mary’s School from September 1986 to June 1988, while Melville was serving his initial assignment as assistant pastor at St. Mary’s Parish in Augusta.

Picher, now 39, filed his complaint in 2007. He also accused the diocese of covering up knowledge about previous sex abuse complaints against Melville that came to light after Picher was abused.

In 1990, a Maryland man wrote to then-Portland Bishop Joseph Gerry, saying he had been “emotionally, sexually and physically abused” as a teenager by Melville between 1980 and 1985, when Melville was a seminarian studying to be a priest in Baltimore.








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