May 28, 2005

AG releases complaint files on 21 dead priests

The Bangor Daily News

Saturday, May 28, 2005 - Bangor Daily News

Editor's Note: The Bangor Daily News will continue to review the circumstances of individual priests identified in Friday's release of information by the Maine Attorney General, but at this time will not publish the list of priests in its entirety. The newspaper believes it would be inappropriate to publish the names of individuals who have been the subject of unsubstantiated allegations that in most cases can never be proved.


AUGUSTA - The Maine Attorney General's Office on Friday released investigative files containing complaints of sexual abuse against 21 dead priests who worked in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland at the time the alleged abuse occurred.

In a split decision, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court last month ruled 4-3 that the documents be released to the media and the public. The names and information that would identify the alleged victims, their family members and friends were blacked out.

The complaints ranged from a priest's attempt to fondle a boy at the age of 13 to multiple victims stating that priests had touched their genitals to some priests allegedly forcing children to touch their penises.

One victim reported that when she was 6 years old, a priest who visited her in the hospital after she had had an appendectomy moved her to an empty storage room and forced her to perform oral sex on him.

The diocese opposed the release of the information because most of the allegations were never substantiated, some of them were made anonymously and a majority of the priests had died years before the incidents were reported.

Posted by kshaw at May 28, 2005 08:21 AM