2015-03-13 / Community

Men allege abuse by former Biddeford cop

By Ben Meiklejohn
Staff Writer

BIDDEFORD – A former Biddeford police officer who was investigated by the office of the Maine attorney general in 2002 may be the subject of another investigation.

Information has been forwarded to the AG’s office from Matt Lauzon, a Biddeford native who alleges that retired Sgt. Stephen M. Dodd drove him to a secluded location in the woods and sexually abused him when Lauzon was a child.

Biddeford Police Chief Roger Beaupre confirmed that Dodd worked for the Biddeford Police Department from August 1978 to July 2003. Beaupre said Dodd cited medical reasons for his resignation after 25 years of employment.

However, Beaupre also said Dodd had been suspended from the Biddeford Police Department in November 2002, pending the outcome of an investigation by the attorney general’s office. Beaupre would not elaborate on the reason Dodd was suspended and the attorney general’s office would not confirm or deny whether Dodd was or is the subject of an investigation, citing confidentiality statutes.

The only document available to the public related to any investigation of Dodd is a June 25, 2003 letter from Dodd to then-chairman of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, Brian MacMaster. In that letter, Dodd announced he would surrender his certificate of eligibility to work as a law enforcement or correction officer in Maine, effective July 18, 2003, upon retirement.

MacMaster accepted Dodd’s surrender on July 8, 2003. MacMaster is now the chief of investigations for the Maine attorney general’s office.

“It is fairly common for an officer to voluntarily surrender their certification in lieu of a full revocation hearing, which can be costly and open to the public,” said John Rogers, director of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.

The standards for surrendering a certificate are different today than when Dodd surrendered his certificate, Rogers said.

“Today, all the facts are laid out in the consent agreement for a voluntary surrender, which was different in 2003,” Rogers said. “Our investigations are separate from both the criminal investigation and the internal investigation for the agency.”

Beaupre said there is no statute of limitations in Maine for child sex crimes.

Rogers said Dodd’s surrender of his certificate is the final conclusion of the academy’s own internal investigation related to certification eligibility and is independent of any criminal investigation.

Beaupre said Dodd was hired in 1978 by the nowdefunct Biddeford Police Commission – which was an elected board of three people. Adelbert A. Morin was police chief. Beaupre was a captain at the time and Dodd had previously been employed as a summer officer by the Old Orchard Beach Police Department.

“The only entry level screening at that time was a standardized written multiple choice answer test, and a background investigation,” Beaupre said.

In a comment posted on Facebook this week, Biddeford resident Jonathan Clark said he spoke with an investigator with the Maine attorney general’s office in 2002 about inappropriate interactions with Dodd, calling it, “the most humiliating experience of my life.”

Clark said Dodd is the reason why he is a drug addict.

“I can’t even begin to explain how this officer has impacted my life in a negative way,” Clark wrote on social media. “This is a redeeming process. Justice is part of the process.”

Dodd was never charged with a crime and has no criminal record in Maine. However, on Dec. 13, 2011, Dodd was arrested at his current home in Lakeland, Florida for domestic battery. According to the police report provided by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Dodd pushed his 22-year-old boyfriend on the bed and placed his arm around his neck after the boyfriend attempted to remove a sex toy from the house. The two were standing in the driveway when Officer Paul Wright arrived to find Dodd’s boyfriend yelling at Dodd, telling him to leave him alone and stay away, according to Wright’s report.

Dodd’s roommates reported that Dodd had taken the man in and helped him out and the two had been living together in the same room for two months.

Both men indicated they were not injured and declined medical treatment. Wright reported that both men would be charged with battery/domestic violence. Dodd, who was deemed the primary aggressor, was arrested and taken to Polk County Jail, but the prosecutor dropped the case in January 2012.

Dodd did not return calls requesting comment.

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