The lawsuits allege John Curran sexually abused the three plaintiffs when they were ages 11 to 14.
The Rev. John J. Curran performs the wedding ceremony of Roger Fortin (the plaintiff’s older brother) and Joan Paradis in June 1963 at St. Augustine Church in Augusta. Plaintiff André Fortin is pictured here as an altar boy, located second from right, over Curran’s right shoulder. Credit: Courtesy of the Fortin family via CBS 13

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Three more survivors of alleged childhood sexual abuse by a priest at the former St. Augustine Parish in Augusta in the 1960s are suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

Attorneys representing the survivors allege the sexual abuse at the hands of Father John J. Curran happened between 1962 and 1964 when the three plaintiffs were between ages 11 and 14. They all were students at St. Augustine parochial school, served as altar boys and worked odd jobs for Curran.

André Fortin was 13 years old and living across the street from St. Augustine Church in 1963, when he was selected to train to enter the priesthood. Later that year, when he turned 14, Fortin enrolled at the Séminaire de Sherbrooke in Sherbrooke, Québec.

Curran, who knew that Fortin’s large family experienced financial hardship, allegedly groomed Fortin and secured a scholarship to fund Fortin’s education at seminary, through a scholarship named after Curran. Curran allegedly continued the abuse when Fortin returned home during holidays and vacation. Fortin subsequently left the seminary and the church.

Attorneys said Curran was featured prominently in a Feb. 24, 2004, investigative report by the the Maine attorney general’s office, where dozens of accusations of his sexual abuse of children were disclosed.

He died in 1976 at age 76.

In 2007, multiple survivors of Curran’s abuse came forward publicly and successfully petitioned the city of Augusta to remove Curran’s name from a dedication on the Water Street Bridge.

In June 2022, the first civil suit against the diocese related to Curran’s sexual abuse was filed by Robert Dupuis, another former altar boy.

These lawsuits bring the total complaints against the Portland diocese to 11.

Attorneys said each lawsuit outlines that the diocese knew about the abuse but chose to not stop it. They also allege the diocese failed to warn parishioners of the sex abuse allegations against the priests.

Until the statute of limitations was lifted last year, survivors had no legal path to hold the church and clergy accountable or to seek justice.

The two other plaintiffs joining Fortin in filing complaints on Monday wish to remain anonymous.