(News 8 )PORTLAND, Maine — An investigation by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland has substantiated an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor brought against a Catholic brother who served at an Aroostook County parish in the early 1970s.
In a statement issued Saturday morning, the diocese said evidence was found to back up a claim by a Maine man who said Brother Paul L. Gauvin , now 73, sexually abused him in the early 1970s when he was an altar server at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Madawaska. Gauvin was the director of religious education at the parish at the time, according to Dave Guthro, a spokesman for the diocese.
Guthro said the man contacted officials at Sacred Heart Parish in Bloomfield, CT earlier this year and told them that Gauvin, the parish’s director of liturgy, had molested him over a two year period when the man was 11 and 12 years old.
Before his assignment at St. Thomas Aquinas, Gauvin worked as an English teacher at Madawaska High School. The high school employed Brothers of the Sacred Heart as teachers at the time, according to Guthro. The religious order left Maine in 1994, he said.
Guthro said Gauvin was removed from his position at the Connecticut parish immediately after the allegations were brought forth. The Brothers of the Sacred Heart have been notified of the investigations findings and are dealing with the matter with Gauvin, Guthro said. Gauvin is now being supervised by a religious superior from the order and will have no contact with minors, he said.
Guthro said the diocese has offered counseling, spiritual support and other social services to the victim.
Bishop Richard Malone urges anyone who might have additional information about this or any other case of sexual abuse to contact law enforcement and Deacon John Brennan, director of the Office of Professional Responsibility for the diocese at 321-7836.