Methuen, Massachusetts - The Boston firm law of Stanzler Levine, LLC (stanzlerlevine.com), has brought suit in Lawrence Superior Court against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Stanzler Levine represents the mother of a young boy sexually assaulted at the Mormon Church in Methuen, Massachusetts. The complaint alleges that the Church, located at 39 Hill Avenue, permitted a man with a criminal record including prior acts of sexual abuse to act as the Church's babysitter. The Complaint further alleges that after the mother notified Church officials of the abuse, the officials, rather than immediately reporting the incident to the authorities as required by Massachusetts Law, attempted to silence the mother in order to avoid bad publicity. In order to protect the boy from further harm, the suit has been filed under the name "John Doe."
The boy's mother, whose name is also kept confidential in order to protect her son's identity, stated, "I brought this action only after it became came clear that the Church's concern was not with my son's welfare, but with protecting themselves from bad publicity." A convert to Mormonism twenty years ago, the boy's mother left the Church after reporting the abuse to Church officials in the fall of 2005. "I was horrified that after I told the Church officials about the abuse, they still allowed the perpetrator free reign at the Church, and my son was terrified." The boy suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and is in therapy to help deal with the trauma.
After authorities were finally notified in late December 2005, the perpetrator, Kevin Curlew was arrested and confessed. In June of 2006, Curlew was sentenced to 9 to 10 years and he is currently serving his sentence at MCI Cedar Junction. During the investigation, the Methuen police also arrested another Church volunteer, Peter Paquette, for failing to register as a sex offender. Methuen police detectives also complained that the Church had not been cooperating with the investigation, and it had been nearly two weeks after Curlew's arrest before the Church turned over its member list for the Methuen ward.