Abuse allegation against brother who worked at Madawaska church substantiated

Posted Dec. 14, 2012, at 8 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — An allegation of sexual abuse by a former director of religious education at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Madawaska has been substantiated, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland announced Friday.

Brother Paul L. Gauvin, a member of the Brothers of Sacred Heart, was working at the parish in the early 1970s when the abuse occurred, according to a press release issued by the diocese. The victim was between 11 and 12 then.

Prior to working at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Gauvin was an English teacher at Madawaska High School, a public school where the Brothers of the Sacred Heart taught for six years in the late 1960s and early ’70s, the diocese said.

Dave Guthro, spokesman for the diocese, said Friday that Gauvin spent his entire time in Maine in Madawaska. Information about exactly when Gauvin left Maine and where he went was not available late Friday.

The Brothers of the Sacred Heart left Maine in 1994.

Earlier this year, the victim contacted Sacred Heart Parish in Bloomfield, Conn., and told an administrator that Gauvin, who was working as a director of liturgy at the parish, about the abuse.

“Immediately after the victim’s allegation, Gauvin, who is currently 73, was removed from his position as director of liturgy at Sacred Heart parish,” the release said. “The Brothers of the Sacred Heart have been informed of the results of the investigation and are addressing the matter with Gauvin, who is under the supervision of a [religious superior] and will have no contact with minors.”

The diocese urged individuals who have more information about this or other cases of sexual abuse of a minor by a church representative to contact civil authorities and Deacon John Brennan, director of the Office of Professional Responsibility for the Diocese of Portland at 321-7836.

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