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‘Pedophile’ Police Cover-Up Alleged in Maine

ALFRED, Maine (CN) - A Maine police chief knew of pedophiles in his command but did nothing as they abused boys for years, current and former Biddeford residents claim in court.

The lawsuits filed in York County Superior Court are the latest development in a sex-abuse scandal that hit the city of Biddeford, pop. 21,297, in the spring.

"These lawsuits are the culmination of months of investigation, analysis and research," attorney Walter McKee said in a statement on behalf his clients, Matt Lauzon and Lawrence Ouellette.

"It became clear early on that not only were these two men and others were abused but that the chief and the city were well aware of what was going on with these officers long before Ouellette and Lauzon were abused and did nothing to stop it," McKee added.

Lauzon's lawsuit alleges that between 1998 and 1999, when he was just 13 or 14 years old when he met with Officer Stephen Dodd to discuss an abusive neighbor.

Dodd picked up the boy, drove him to a secluded road and then "proceeded to sexually assault" him, according to the Oct. 29 complaint.

Ouellette says he was 15 in the 1980s when he was groomed for abuse by Officer Norman Gaudette, who bought him clothes and plied him with alcohol before assaulting him in Gaudette's camper and "multiple subsequent occasions."

Neither Dodd, who retired in 2003 at the rank of sergeant, nor Gaudette, who retired at the rank of captain in 2001, were ever charged. Maine Attorney General Janet Mills announced in late August that there was insufficient evidence to charge Dodd or the neighbor Lauzon says also abused him in the 1990s, according to a report by the Portland Press Herald.

The Press Herald has been the allegations since Lauzon first made them public in the spring on social media.

Both Lauzon and Ouellette's lawsuits accuse the officers of using their authority to silence them, and both say Chief Roger Beaupre knew about the abusive officers' proclivities.

In Dodd's case, the officer "had been engaged in so many sexual assaults against minors in Biddeford that Chief Beaupre knew and/or should have known that Officer Dodd was a sexually fixated pedophile, was dangerous to young men and should not be in a position as an officer of the BPD," according to Lauzon's complaint.

Lauzon says Dodd kept his job with the force because the officer had compromising, "photographic and/or video evidence of Chief Beaupre's alleged relationship with officer Dodd."

As such, Beaupre altered BPD internal affairs policies to safeguard Dodd after he faced sexual-abuse allegations from prior victims, according to the complaint.

Ouellette says Beaupre should have known "Gaudette was a sexually fixated pedophile," as well.

In both cases, Beaupre failed to notify the state about Dodd and Gaulette's abuses, according to the complaints.

Beaupre and the city are named as defendants in both the complaints against Dodd and Gaudette.

The Press Herald has reported that residents have been rallying for Beaupre's resignation at recent City Council meetings. Back in June, Gaudette filed separate defamation lawsuits against a former colleague and local news publisher Mainely Media.

Lauzon and Ouellette are both represented by Walter McKee of McKee Billings. They seek punitive damages for negligent supervision and violations of their civil rights.

Neither Beaupre and nor Biddeford officials returned requests for comment.

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