On Thursday, December 1, Horowitz Law filed a child sexual abuse and coverup lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland in Maine. The lawsuit alleges that Ann Allen was sexually abused by Fr. Lawrence Sabatino, her parish priest, when she was about 7 years old.
According to the Complaint, which was filed in Cumberland County Court, Sabatino abused Ms. Allen when she was participating in a youth group for girls at St. Peter parish in Portland, Maine. Sabatino is alleged to have taken her to the church basement during a game of “hide and go seek” to abuse her in approximately 1964 or 1965.
Documents released following an investigation by the Maine Attorney General in 2005 show that Sabatino was accused of sexually abusing another little girl at St. Patrick parish in Lewiston, Maine, in 1958. According to the little girl’s mother, the abuse occurred while Sabatino was playing a game with the victim, pretending to be the Big Bad Wolf. As a result of the allegation, Sabatino was transferred to St. Peter, where he was put in charge of the girls’ youth group. No one at the parish was warned about the 1958 allegation except for the parish pastor, according to those same documents.
Horowitz Law attorney Jessica Arbour announced the filing of the lawsuit to the Portland media on Thursday. “Sabatino was a real life Big Bad Wolf, and the Bishop of Portland just handed him the keys to the henhouse at another parish,” she said. “The Diocese failed to do the bare minimum to protect children. Church leaders made deliberate, conscious choices to endanger Ann and the other little girls at St. Peter, and now she will be holding them accountable in court.”
More than a dozen women have reported that priest Lawrence Sabatino sexually abused them as children in various Maine parishes.
The lawsuit is among the first lawsuits filed under a new Maine law that temporarily suspended the time limits for survivors to sue those responsible for their childhood sexual abuse, such as the abuser’s employer.
Horowitz Law has teamed up with attorney Michael Bigos of the Maine law firm Berman & Simmons for this case.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Portland in Maine. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Maine, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Portland now have legal options, but filing deadlines may apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Maine and nationwide. We can help.
Contact us at 844-598-2365 to discuss your options today.