2015-05-08 / Front Page

Biddeford proposes statewide sex offender changes

By Molly Lovell-Keely
Managing Editor


Biddeford native Matt Lauzon, center, addresses the council from the audience, while being gaveled down. At left are South Portland residents Deborah and Richard Alexander. (Moll Lovell- Keely photo) Biddeford native Matt Lauzon, center, addresses the council from the audience, while being gaveled down. At left are South Portland residents Deborah and Richard Alexander. (Moll Lovell- Keely photo) BIDDEFORD – The Biddeford City Council came out of executive session Tuesday, May 5, with a number of measures that address allegations of child sex abuse by two former Biddeford police officers.

One, Stephen M. Dodd, grew up in South Portland and is accused of sexually abusing two brothers, Richard and Jon Alexander, of South Portland, at separate times.

City Council President John McCurry announced a resolution to request that the Maine Attorney General’s Office complete an ongoing investigation into the allegations “as fully and promptly as possible.” The council also proposed that Sen. David Dutremble, a Biddeford Democrat, craft legislation that would prohibit registered sex offenders from living 750 feet of schools and playgrounds. In addition, the council proposed Dutremble pursue legislation to modify Title 16, allowing public officials to comment on ongoing criminal investigations.


After the meeting, Matt Lauzon, center, and supporters, from his right, Debbi Lauzon, his mother; Deborah Alexander and Richard Alexander, South Portland residents, and Biddeford residednt Bob Provencher. (Molly Lovell-Keely photo) After the meeting, Matt Lauzon, center, and supporters, from his right, Debbi Lauzon, his mother; Deborah Alexander and Richard Alexander, South Portland residents, and Biddeford residednt Bob Provencher. (Molly Lovell-Keely photo) McCurry made a motion for legal counsel to draft a local ordinance prohibiting registered sex offenders from living within 750 feet of schools and playgrounds. He also made a motion to hold a municipal officer’s meeting the first Thursday of every month in response to the last two council meetings where residents have used the city council’s public comments section to address concerns about child sex abuse allegations.

The council unanimously approved all measures.

Biddeford native Matt Lauzon waited while the council deliberated in executive session, hoping members would decide to suspend the city’s chief and deputy chief while the investigation into his alleged abuse as a teen was conducted by the AG’s office. As Mayor Alan Casavant and councilors left council chambers, Lauzon approached City Attorney Keith Jacques, threatening to sue the city.

Many spoke at the meeting, some being gaveled down by the mayor for not following council rules when speaking during public comment. The meeting went into recess twice. Chaos broke out at one point when residents started chanting, “Step down,” referring to Police Chief Roger Beaupre and Deputy Police Chief Joanne Fisk.

“Let’s call it what it was, it was rape,” said Alexander, in a previous interview. Within the past couple months, three other men have also come forward with claims of sexual abuse against the retired police officer, whose last known address was in Lakeland, Florida.

“He liked to use his handcuffs on me,” Alexander recalled in details that remain almost too vivid for him to bear. “He’d have me cuffed and he’d pull my pants down and he’d shove my head into the ground and hold it there while he beat me and sodomized me, while he was in his uniform, wearing a gun for the public’s safety.

“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,” said Alexander, quietly.

Also to this day, Alexander said he keeps a handcuff key on him just in case, even though he has not seen Dodd since 1978. Alexander also remains a fanatic about keeping any entrance to his house locked at all times, walking a patrol of all doors and windows every night, with a baseball bat by each door, just in case. It’s a routine that almost seems like an obsessive compulsive disorder, his wife Deborah said.

“Yeah,” Alexander said with a shrug. “Basically, I deal with a really bad post traumatic stress disorder. This is a heavy burden I’ve been carrying on my back for 40 years.”

Alexander said he sees a traumatologist and that his memories of the abuse is like, “carrying around a bag of rocks,” he said. “It’s always there.”

He first came forward in 2002 in a pair of sworn depositions given to a detective in the office of the Maine Attorney General, his willingness to confront what he calls “the ghouls inside my head” triggered by stories then in the news about the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal.

When the news came last month of another person accusing Dodd of abuse, Alexander said his jaw hit the floor. Biddeford native Matt Lauzon, 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 March 12 Courier, the Sentry’s sister paper, in a story by reporter Ben Meiklejohn, who uncovered police reports showing that Dodd, believed to be living in Lakeland, Florida, had been arrested for do- mestic battery in 2011, following a fight with his 22-year old boyfriend over a sex toy.

Meiklejohn’s story was reprinted in the Sentry.

“I felt so much sorrow for him and all that stuff this guy did to me came rushing back,” Alexander said.

Alexander provided to the Sentry a copy of AG documents regarding his case.

When Alexander called the AG’s office after reading Lauzon’s story, all they could tell him was that the investigation was ongoing – 13 years after he first reported the alleged abuse in 2002.

Alexander said at the Tuesday council meetign in Biddeford that a child sex abuse investigator from the AG’s office visited his house last week when he wasn’t home.

“I’m not calling him back,” he said. “Or maybe I will, 13 years from now.”

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