Clergyman Believes Brother Not a Threat
Brother Marcel Crete Was Convicted of Sex Abuse in 1989, but a Supervisor Says He Has Paid His Dues

By Ted Cohen
Portland Press Herald (Maine)
February 26, 2004

The supervisor of the Brothers of Christian Instruction at the Notre Dame Institute in Alfred said Wednesday that he sympathizes with anyone who was sexually abused by a brother who lives there but believes the man poses little risk to the public now.

A report released this week by the state attorney general identified Brother Marcel Crete as one of several former priests and other clergymen who may pose a continuing risk to the public. Crete served seven months in prison following a 1989 conviction for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old Biddeford boy.

Brother David Denicourt, the superior at the institute, said he is aware of Crete's criminal history and doesn't think he is likely to abuse children again.

"I feel a lot of sympathy for the people who were victimized," Denicourt said. "As far as I know, there is very little risk of anything happening now . . . We'll take all due precautions to sort of avoid that. As far as I can see, a person like that wouldn't be working with children directly."

Denicourt said he would not discuss what has been done or will be done to make sure Crete doesn't have access to children. He described Crete as "a very hard-working person."

Crete was unavailable for comment. He is in Rome and is due to return to Alfred on Sunday.

The Alfred headquarters is a retirement home for 17 brothers, as well as a retreat.

Crete pleaded guilty in 1989 to five counts of gross sexual misconduct for sexually assaulting the 12-year-old son of a friend with whom he'd gone to school.

He was sentenced to eight years in prison, with all but 2 1/2 years suspended, and served seven months at the Maine Correctional Center before being released in July 1990.

He then went through an 18-month supervised program that prohibited contact with any minor children if other adults were not nearby.

Crete, who lived at Notre Dame and maintained the ice rink there for more than a decade before he was jailed, moved back to the institute after being released and resumed his duties at the rink.

Brother James Lacasse, who also lives at the institute, said Wednesday that the incidents "happened ages ago" and that Crete "did his time."

Crete was one of eight living clergy members identified as a possible threat to children by Attorney General Steven Rowe. He was one of only two named in the report, released Tuesday. The other was Raymond Lauzon, who was indicted in Cumberland County on two charges of gross sexual misconduct, and later pleaded guilty to witness tampering.

Lauzon now lives in a monastery in Lithuania.


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