ME--In new lawsuit, man reports abuse by 2 priests
For immediate release: Friday, September 16, 2016
A convicted murderer who says his crime stemmed, in part, from being sexually abused as a boy by priests is filing a civil lawsuit charging that two clerics assaulted him.
Jeff Libby was sentenced to 60 years in prison in Maine for killing his grandfather in 1986. Experienced therapists who have evaluated Libby strongly believe his childhood trauma contributed significantly to Libby’s crime.
In 2009, Libby received a settlement from the Hartford CT archdiocese after they deemed his abuse report against Fr. Richard P. McGann credible. Libby estimates that Fr. McGann assaulted him about 200 times.
Now, in a new civil lawsuit against Maine Catholic officials, Libby is also charging that two other priests assaulted him in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The accused are
--ex-prison chaplain Fr. Christian F. Roy of Maine and
--Fr. Raymond Lauzon, who was sued multiple times in the 1990s over alleged abuse.
Fearing retaliation and feeling shame, Libby was unable to report the crimes after they happened.
“We applaud Jeff for reporting the suffering he endured at the hands of these priests,” said Barbara Dorris, outreach director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “Innocent kids and vulnerable adults are safer when predators are exposed.”
“Of course we do not condone the horrific crime Jeff committed,” said David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP’s director. “But no one deserves to be sexually assaulted, especially not by an allegedly celibate man who purports to represent Christ.”
None of the priests now work in a church. Fr. McGann was quietly removed from parish work in 2005. Fr. Roy was defrocked in 2006. Fr. Lauzon died in 2005.
In 2011, SNAP disclosed Libby’s previously secret Sept. 2009 settlement with the Hartford archdiocese, effectively “outing” Fr. McGann as a credibly accused child molester for the first time. Here’s a letter the group wrote to then-Hartford Archbishop Henry Mansell about Fr. McGann: http://www.snapnetwork.org/snap_letters/2011_letters/052411_letter_to_archbishop_mansell.htm
“If not for Jeff’s courage in reporting Fr. McGann, no one except a handful of secretive Catholic officials would know about this child predator,” said Clohessy. “Jeff’s compassionate and responsible move – telling church staff that Fr. McGann had repeatedly assaulted him – has made kids safer and made parents more careful around this dangerous cleric.”
McGann reportedly violated Libby between 1975-77 at St. Gregory’s Catholic church (235 Maltby St., 860-589-2295) in Bristol CT. McGann molested Libby in the rectory and elsewhere, including out-of-town trips. The abuse, which included forced oral and anal sex, started when Libby was 12 years old.
Fr. McGann worked at Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Plainville (all in Connecticut).
Fr. Roy worked at parishes in Augusta, Lewiston, Thomaston, Isleboro, Biddeford, Sanford, Rockland and Belfast (all in Maine) and was a chaplain at Maine State Prison.
Fr. Lauzon worked in Portland, Kennebunk and other towns.
Fr. McGann was ordained in 1970 and Fr. Roy was ordained in 1975. Fr. Lauzon was ordained in 1955.
Libby is now at Maine State Prison in Warren, Maine (his home state). Now in his 50s, Libby was 23 when he was convicted of murder. He is now represented by Lewiston attorney Verne Paradie (207 344 9362) and Boothbay Harbor attorney Thomas Tavenner (978 296 7700, firstname.lastname@example.org).
In the past, he has been represented by Maine attorney Richard Olson (207 871 7159) and Hartford attorney David Jaffe (860 522 3343). In a 2010 bid to win clemency, Libby was represented by Augusta attorney Walter McKee.
Leaders of SNAP want church officials in both Maine and Connecticut to “do more to protect kids from and warn adults about both of these predators.”
The group’s leaders strongly suspect that Hartford Archbishop Leonard Blair and Portland Bishop Robert Deeley are hiding the names of other proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics. It is urging Blair and Deeley to disclose the identities of all other child molesting church employees – whether lay or ordained, alive or dead, religious or diocesan, and current or former workers. SNAP also want the names, and info about each employee’s crimes, posted on church websites.
Roughly 30 US bishops have posted on their websites the names, and priestly status of child molesting clerics who are or have been in their dioceses.
SNAP is also urging Catholic officials in Maine and Connecticut to, for the safety of kids,
-- disclose whether they’ve paid other secret settlements involving other priests, and
-- post on their websites the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of all predator priests.
The group also wants Maine parents and parishioners to “ask their loved ones if they were hurt by Fr. Roy or any of the 49 publicly accused Maine predator priests,” and Connecticut parents and parishioners to do the same about Fr. McGann or any of the 28 publicly accused Hartford archdiocesan child molesting clerics. (The numbers come from from a Boston-based independent research group called BishopAccountabilty.org)
In both instances, SNAP urges “those who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups” to “call independent sources of help like police, prosecutors, therapists and support groups, instead of contacting church officials.”
Here is a list of all the dioceses that have disclosed predators’ names: http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AtAGlance/lists.htm
No “matter what courts or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions – especially in Connecticut and Maine – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours,” said Clohessy. “This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.”
A Maine priest and a former Maine lawmaker back Libby.
“For years I’ve worked with Jeff on spiritual counseling and emotional support. He's a very sincere man trying very hard to get his life back on track,” said Fr. William Modlin (207 213 6734).
"I have known Jeff Libby for about five years, and have become a friend. He has become a person of good character, now that he has successfully dealt with the harm he experienced. At the time he was sentenced for his crime, he was unable to admit to himself or anyone else that he had been sexually molested by a priest. As a consequence he was given a sentence far in excess of what he deserved, or what he would have received had the judge known all the facts. To date I have been unable to get his sentence reduced down to what would have been fair," said Cushman Anthony.
Fr. McGann’s work history is here: http://www.bishopaccountability.org/assign/McGann_Richard_P.html
Fr. Roy’s work history is here: http://www.bishopaccountability.org/assign/Roy_Christian.htm
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.