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Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

An abuser unafraid of the consequences?

By Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. ( articles - email ) | Sep 30, 2003

Vision Book Cover Prints

The Scandal continues in western Massachusetts with an investigation in Richard Lavigne, a priest who went to jail for molesting two brothers. The question being asked is when Diocese of Springfield leaders knew about Lavigne's abuse. A confidant of the former bishop says the diocese knew back in the 60s. What makes this case even more disturbing is the still unsolved murder of an altar boy and suspicion that Lavigne may have been involved.

The affidavit paints Lavigne, a registered sex offender who now lives in Chicopee, as arrogant and unafraid of the questions being raised about his behavior. On one occasion in the 1970s, Lavigne told DeMontigny "his pastor had admonished him concerning boys in his bedroom," according to the affidavit. "Lavigne was contemptuous of the pastor's attempt to exert his authority over him. He said something to the effect that 'they can't do anything to me,' and laughed about it," the affidavit reads.
What would be the reason Lavigne could be so unafraid and confident that diocesan officials could do nothing to him? It's almost like he had something held over their heads. Perhaps blackmail?

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