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The Rev. Bernard J. Lane Allegedly Molested Children at Alpha Omega, A Littleton MA Home for Troubled Youths

The Rev. Bernard J. Lane Allegedly Molested Children at Alpha Omega, A Littleton MA Home for Troubled Youths

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Published by Alan Horn
Rev Bernard Lane is accused of raping boys in his family cottage in Barnstead NH. Near by is Camp Fatima, site of many child molestations committed by priest. Newspaper accounts report that the young campers where instructed by clergy and staff, to strip naked and gathered on the beach for late night skinny dipping. Victims report that cars from the local towns where lined on the parking lot. The cars where positioned with their head lights towards the beach to light up the naked swimmers. This community was also the home of Paul and Moreen Rogers, parents of Jeffery and Brian Rogers. (Brain became a police officer in Center Barnstead). During the late 60's and early 70's as Rev Lane is abusing children in has family cottage and the locals gather at Lock Lake to catch a peek of the naked children swimming, the pedophile Ronald Peter Rogers began molesting his brothers son Jeffery. These few square miles of NH countryside, where not a safe place for children.
Rev Bernard Lane is accused of raping boys in his family cottage in Barnstead NH. Near by is Camp Fatima, site of many child molestations committed by priest. Newspaper accounts report that the young campers where instructed by clergy and staff, to strip naked and gathered on the beach for late night skinny dipping. Victims report that cars from the local towns where lined on the parking lot. The cars where positioned with their head lights towards the beach to light up the naked swimmers. This community was also the home of Paul and Moreen Rogers, parents of Jeffery and Brian Rogers. (Brain became a police officer in Center Barnstead). During the late 60's and early 70's as Rev Lane is abusing children in has family cottage and the locals gather at Lock Lake to catch a peek of the naked children swimming, the pedophile Ronald Peter Rogers began molesting his brothers son Jeffery. These few square miles of NH countryside, where not a safe place for children.

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Published by: Alan Horn on Oct 01, 2013
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03/27/2014

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THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
FOLLOW-UP
State action on priest fell short, DYS team says
By Matt Carroll, Globe Staff, 3/25/2002
he passage of time is likely to make it difficult to prosecute many priests who allegedlymolested children- even the Rev. Bernard J. Lane, who allegedly raped teenage boys atAlpha Omega, a Littleton facility for troubled youthsthat he ran under state contract in the1970s.Back then, however, state officials missed a chance to bring an early end to the allegedabuse. And once they stumbled upon evidence of inappropriate sexual behavior, the state andthe Archdiocese of Boston decided it was better to transfer Lane to avoid publicembarrassment, according to documents and interviews by the Globe Spotlight Team.At the time, the state could have launched a broader inquiry that might have led tocriminalcharges. As for the archdiocese, it simply assigned Lane to St. Peter's parish in Lowell,where he continued to have access to children.And to replace Lane at the center, the Church selected the Rev. C. Melvin Surette. In the1990s, the archdiocese settled a claim after a boy from the center accused Surette of sexualabuse. Surette's attorney has said that Surette denies the allegations.In January, the Globe reported that the archdiocese settled at least six sexabuse casesagainstLane, many of them involving allegations he raped boys at the facility or at a family summer home in New Hampshire. Despite the settlements, Lane has denied the allegations throughhis attorney. But since January, several men who spent time at Alpha Omega when they wereteenagers have come forward with similar allegations.Much of the abuse might have been prevented, according to members of a state Departmentof Youth Servicesevaluation team. The team members told the Globe that in either 1976 or 1977 - a year or two before Lane's 1978 removal - the team arrived at Alpha Omega for anintensive review that would have involved several days of interviews with the staff andteenage patients. But Lane refused to let the team in for the state-mandated review. When theteam alerted its superior, John Isaacson, then the DYS assistant commissioner, he refused tointercede.Isaacson's decision, members of the team said in recent interviews, was a serious lapse by theagency. ''If we had been able to do the work we should have done at the time, there mighthave been some kids who weren't harmed,'' said Jean Bellow, one of the surveyteammembers. She said they believed the DYS was afraid to offend the archdiocese.Isaacson said he does not recall discussing Alpha Omega with the team, but does not disputethe account by members. However, he said he had little faith in the evaluation team. Hedescribed them as well-meaning but ''nuts, and you can quote me.''He said they were unreliable, ideological, and mostly interested in shutting down programs.''They were constantly crying wolf,'' he said.Isaacson denied giving the Church favorable treatment.Robert Watson, who was the director of contracts for the DYS, said Isaacson's criticism of the team is without merit.Attorney Nance Lyons, who has represented several of Lane's victims, said she wasdumbfounded when she recently learned from the Globe about the state's inaction. ''Whatwere these people thinking of?'' Lyons said. If, she said, the state ''had gone and interviewedclients, my other clients would not have been abused. It is beyond the ability of anyreasonable person to understand.''But 25 years ago, Isaacson noted, the Church was treated differently. ''We were morerespectful of priests than we would be today. It was a different era,'' he said.Because priests were dedicated to service and poverty, Isaacson said, ''they got a lot of respect ... When we encountered a priest in a home, the original assumption was that this wasa good man. The commitment in those days was they would take care of the kids. That wasvery powerful.''
 
Page 1 of 3Boston Globe / Spotlight / Abuse in the Catholic Church9/29/2013http://www.boston.com/globe/spotlight/abuse/print/032502_state_spotlight.htm
 
In the late 1970s, Alpha Omega had two homes in Littleton, each housing 15 boys betweenthe ages of 14 and 17. The homes were for youths with ''serious acting-out problems,'' whichincluded drug or alcohol abuse and car theft or worse crimes, according to Alpha Omegaliterature.At the time, Alpha Omega was not an archdiocesan facility. It was run by a secular nonprofitin Malden called Adolescent Counseling in Development Inc., which Lane had helped found.(The facility is still open under the same name, but operated by Life Resources Inc., aseparate corporation under the archdiocese.)Scott Surrey, a member of the DYS evaluation team, said he did not anticipate a problemwhen he knocked on the door of the Alpha Omega home in 1976 or 1977. He and his teamhad done more than 30 inspections and expected to spend four or five days at the Littletonhouse, talking to staff, boys, and examining records.But Lane refused to let the team in, even though blocking the team was in direct violation of his state contract, according to Surrey and Bellow. Surrey said in an interview that Lane toldhim he didn't think it was appropriate for the team to observe group therapy. That, Surreysaid, was ''a ridiculous argument.''Upset and seeking the backing of superiors to get into the facility, Surrey and Bellow metwith Isaacson. But he refused to help, said Surrey, Bellow, and David Danforth, a thirdmember of the team.The team never returned.In 1978, the DYS received an allegation that Lane had fondled a boy from Alpha Omega atLane's cottage in Barnstead, N.H, according to Watson and Dr. Stephen Howard, the center'smedical director. Isaacson, in an interview, recalled that the accusation was that boys atAlpha Omega were rolling around on the floor in the nude, with maybe nude touching. WhenLane was questioned about the charge, Isaacson said, ''Lane made claims it was therapeuticand the kids were being honest with each other.''Isaacson said he found that explanation incredible.But even when the DYS was confronted with the 1978 allegations, it participated in aresolution that allowed Lane to escape culpability, according to documents and interviewswith the officials involved.The DYS worked on the issue with the state Office for Children, which handled licensing of the facilities. On Oct. 20, 1978, the Office for Children wrote to Alpha Omega House andthreatened to pull its license for ''unusual treatment practices.''But at about that time, DYS officials met with officials from the Archdiocese of Boston. Thestate officials said they could not recall which Church officials were involved.''My sense,'' said Watson, who was at the meetings, ''was they [the archdiocese] knew theyhad a problem, and they were looking to minimize the exposure of the archdiocese andBernie Lane.''Two other officials, one of them Isaacson, offered similar recollections. Isaacson said theDYS didn't want publicity, either. Despite the problems, he said he believed the program wasone of the better ones and he wanted to keep it open. Isaacson said he preferred ousting Lane.By Nov. 15, the state and Alpha Omega had hammered out an agreement to keep its license, but Lane and Howard were forced to quit. One of the two houses at the Littleton facility wasclosed.Howard, now a psychiatrist in Atlanta, believes the state overreacted.''They jumped to the conclusion that all sorts of sex things were going on. I think it wasgreatly overblown,'' he said.Asked whether he believed any of the people who have received settlements from thearchdiocese, he replied, ''I have no reason to believe any of that.''Alpha Omega's parent, Adolescent Counseling in Development, was also soon out of the picture, replaced by another nonprofit, Life Resources Inc. Surette was put in charge andremained there until 1990.Attempts to reach Lane were unsuccessful. Surette said he would not comment.''Bernie messed with a lot of kids,'' said one man, who says he was molested by Lane whenhe was at Alpha Omega as a 17-year-old but has not filed a claim.But his feelings are mixed about the place. A counselor helped straighten him out, and he isvery grateful. ''There was just one sour man who was taking advantage of kids there.''Lane, after leaving Alpha Omega for the Lowell parish, was later transferred to St. MariaGoretti in Lynnfield; St. Charles in Waltham, where he was in charge of altar boys andcatechism classes; St. Anthony's in Cambridge; and Our Lady of Grace in Chelsea.He went on sick leave in 1993, and then worked at Regina Cleri, the Boston home for retired priests, until he retired in the late 1990s. Some staff members at Alpha Omega were
Page 2 of 3Boston Globe / Spotlight / Abuse in the Catholic Church9/29/2013http://www.boston.com/globe/spotlight/abuse/print/032502_state_spotlight.htm

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