October 14, 2005

Diocese to fund support for late priest's victims

Portland Press Herald

By JOHN RICHARDSON, Portland Press Herald Writer

Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine is creating a confidential support group for women who were sexually abused by the Rev. Lawrence Sabatino.

Sabatino is accused of abusing at least 14 girls while he served in parishes in Lewiston and Portland from 1958 and 1972. Most of the alleged abuse occurred in Portland, when Sabatino was an assistant pastor at St. Peter's.

"It's our priority to create a safe space in which people can heal from sexual abuse they've experienced," said Cyndi Amato, the agency's executive director.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland asked the agency to form the group and will pay for the counseling services. But, Amato said, the church will have no other role in the group and won't be told who participates.

Posted by kshaw at October 14, 2005 09:37 AM