2015-04-24 / Front Page

Cop allegedly abused brother

By Duke Harrington
Staff Writer

Richard Alexander hugs Debbi Lauzon, whose son, Matt Lauzon, who spoke publicly in February to say he was allegedly abused by former police officer Stephen Dodd. Alexander came forward after reading about Matt Lauzon’s story. Sitting is Alexander’s wife, Deborah. (Molly Lovell- Keely photo) Richard Alexander hugs Debbi Lauzon, whose son, Matt Lauzon, who spoke publicly in February to say he was allegedly abused by former police officer Stephen Dodd. Alexander came forward after reading about Matt Lauzon’s story. Sitting is Alexander’s wife, Deborah. (Molly Lovell- Keely photo) SOUTH PORTLAND — A second South Portland man has come forward with claims that he, too, was sexually abused as a boy by a city resident who went on to a 25-year career with the Biddeford Police Department.

He is now the fifth man to accuse Stephen M. Dodd of sexual attacks dating back to the mid-1970s.

Richard “Rick” Alexander was the first to complain, giving testimony to the Attorney General’s Office in 2002 and 2003. A spokesman from the AG’s office has declined to say what came of an investigation conducted at that time, or even to acknowledge that any investigation was ever conducted, but Dodd did tender his resignation with the Biddeford Police Department effective July 18, 2003. In a July 8, 2003 letter to Brian MacMaster, chairman of the trustees of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, Dodd agreed to “unconditionally surrender (his) certificate of eligibility to perform duties as a law enforcement officer in the state of Maine,” considered an unusual sacrifice at the time.

Whether Biddeford officials knew of Dodd’s alleged predatory activities or not, his subsequent complaint about never receiving a retirement plaque from the city was reportedly ignored by the Police Commission, according to 2003 minutes obtained by WMTW, Channel 8.

Alexander, a South Portland resident, said he was never told by the AG’s office what became of his testimony, advised only that the investigation “was still ongoing,” 13 years later. Eventually, he stopped calling to check up on the case. He only renewed his claims recently after another person accused Dodd of abuse.

Biddeford native Matt Lauzon, now a Boston resident, frustrated by alleged stonewalling by the AG’s office since he filed a complaint in October, took to Facebook to tell his story.

That was covered in the one of the Sentry’s sister papers, the Biddeford Courier, in a story by reporter Ben Meiklejohn, who uncovered police reports showing that Dodd, living in Lakeland, Florida, had been arrested for domestic battery in 2011, following a fight with his 22-year-old boyfriend over a sex toy.

Perhaps emboldened by Lauzon’s postings, Biddeford resident Jonathan Clark also has taken to Facebook to assert similar claims. Lauzon is working on a civil investigation with Augusta attorney Walter McKee.

In his 2002-2003 testimony, Alexander, 52, testified that he was sexually abused by Dodd between 1975 and late 1977, before Dodd was on the Biddeford force, but while he was working as both a reserve police officer in Old Orchard Beach and, allegedly, a volunteer with the now-defunct Knightville Call Company division of the South Portland Fire Department.

“Let’s call it what it was. It was rape,” said Alexander in a recent interview with the Sentry. “I was raped by this serial pedophile from the time I was 13 until I was 16.

“To this day, when I smell fresh cut grass in the spring, that’s what I think of, getting sodomized, with my head held to the ground and my hands tied behind me,” Alexander said.

Alexander spoke at a Biddeford City Council meeting Tuesday, April 21, urging officials to consider his story and suspend the police chief and deputy chief who were both working for Biddeford Police Department when some of the abuse is alleged.

Alexander’s AG testimony also includes references to two other Dodd victims, his younger brother Jonathan Alexander, and Dodd’s own younger brother.

John Alexander has confirmed his brother’s report.

Perhaps most alarming, Jon Alexander claims the attack against him, although a single incident and not a series of attacks as happened with his brother, occurred while

Dodd was in uniform.

In an April 17 email, Jon Alexander recalled the attack occurring in the home of his cousin, Michael McVane, who lived behind his Beaufort Street home, on Fessenden Avenue. Dodd at the time also lived on Fessenden, six houses down from the McVanes. Jon Alexander, 12 at the time, wasn’t able to recall the exact timeframe of the event, except that the first “Star Wars” had just been released.

“I can’t remember if (my relatives) were having a cookout or ran to the store to get sandwiches but I was in their living room alone, my cousin may have been upstairs, it was a very small house, when Stephen Dodd up and let himself in,” Alexander wrote. “He was at my aunt’s often visiting my cousin Mark so I didn’t think much of him coming in as my aunt had an open door policy. She always welcomed everybody.

“Steve came in and said something wise to me,” Alexander recalled. “I remember saying something wise back, like he was a ‘rent-a-cop.’ He was in uniform.

“Next thing I know he grabs me, put my hands in handcuffs behind my back and shoves me on the couch, pins me down, then puts his hand in my pants and sticks his finger in my rectum,” Alexander wrote. “There was no way being handcuffed to fight back. He was a lot bigger than I was and overpowered me. I remember hearing voices of family members coming closer and someone on the porch coming in, that made him stop what he was doing. I don’t remember who had came in, but thank god they did. They told him to take the cuffs of me. As soon as I was free I went home. They did not see him with his hand in my pants. My aunt and uncle were wonderful people that idolized Steve and were glad for him getting a new job (as a reserve officer).”

Jon Alexander said he avoided his cousin’s house after that, and steered a wide berth around Dodd as well. Less than a year later, Dodd, hired by Biddeford, moved from the neighborhood.

Both Alexander brothers say they did not know at the time of the others encounters with Dodd, and did not learn about the separate incidents until decades later, after Rick Alexander first told his story to the AG’s office.

Although some of Dodd’s victims report being contacted by the AG’s officer regarding a renewed investigation, the official word is still a “no comment” from an office spokesman.

Meanwhile, Dodd, apparently no longer in Florida, may have returned to Maine. The same attorney, Gene Libby, who reportedly represented Dodd in 2003 has recently filed a request on Dodd’s behalf with the Biddeford Police Department to be copied on all recent Freedom of Access Act requests for information about Dodd.

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