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Maine’s Shameful Pedophile Ring, a State Secret: Child Sex Abuse

Maine has just been rated third worst in the country for sex trafficking. The Bangor Daily News says Maine a source for the entire East Coast to procure children for sex abuse. Those who know Maine‟s history are not surprised. Only a few years ago when students at the Baxter School for the Deaf tried to refuse sexual abuse by their director, Dr. Robert Kelly, he tied the children naked to a tree and left them alone, all night, in the Maine woods. The State of Maine protected Dr. Kelly and not the children. Maine‟s Attorney General (AG) refused to prosecute. Apparently the State continues to pay Dr. Kelly his pension. When children are tied naked to pine trees as a “grooming” exercise for rape and no one is prosecuted, the devil is walking the halls of Maine‟s Attorney General‟s office. Lawyers in the AG‟s office used a “statute of limitations” excuse to justify their protection of abusers and not children. This is wide recognition that there can be no statute of limitations for crimes of child abuse and Maine legislatures, in 1991, ended the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse. Then the federal District Court for the District of Maine, in an unbelievable judgment ruled that “the Legislature clearly did not intend for this expanded statute of limitations to revive claims that were already „barred by the previous statute of limitations in force‟ prior to the amendments.” Judges in Maine, both state and federal, appear eager to protect abusers and not children. FromBaxter School for the Deaf to Kennebunk‟s Zumba prostitution scandal, Maine courts have systematically protected child abusers and not children. Child abusers like Dr. Kelly, former FBI Bureau Chief John Kenoyer, who raped a ten year old girl for over a year, and former Assistant Attorney General James Cameron, recently arrested for child porn, are considered “important people” and “productive members of the community.” Judges in Maine protect them. One has to wonder why. I stumbled upon the massive cover-up of extreme child abuse at the Baxter School for the Deaf when I delved into the Freedom of Information Act (FIOA) files about the cover-up of child sex abuse by Maine‟s Catholic priests. For three years Jeannine Guttman, formerly Executive Editor of the Portland Press Herald, fought to get the State to release these records. When Maine did release, it was only records of abuse by deceased or Alzheimer‟s priests. Current records of living priests accused of child sex abuse remains protected by the State. I thought the Catholic Church sex abuse documents would be painful enough to read but I‟d been advised to dig deep into Pineland School as well as what the State did to Native American communities. The abuse was equally horrific. Maine has just established a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to create a public record of what Maine‟s child protective services did and continues to do to Wabanaki children.

Maine‟s Robert Tristram Coffin was one of America‟s great poets. Coffin spoke about sons and daughters of Maine, rock-bound coasts, and pine-trees. A place where one can still see the Milky Way at night; where old-fashion values are held sacred and folks are judged not by their financial wealth but the weight of their human souls. That is the Maine I still know or so I believed until I started researching Maine‟s dark history of the cover-up of child sex abuse. So-called “good Mainers” who cultivate public images as “pillars of the community” have been allowed to plunder, rape, and torture generations of Maine‟s children. Those, like Rod Hotham and James Levier, who raised their voices in pain and outrage have been silenced. This was not the Maine Coffin loved. It is not the Maine I cherish. Decades of shameful silence and impunity for child abuse continues in Maine with children like Ayla Reynolds, Logan Marr, David Handler and Mila Malenko treated exactly as the child abuse at Baxter, the Catholic Church, Pineland and Wabanakis has been handled; cover-up, deny, protect the abuser and not the children. Maine has been recognized by the Bangor Daily News as a source for the entire East Coast to procure children because there is a powerful state-system in place that allows this to happen. Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King said “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” We must now end the silence. No more cover-ups. No more children in Maine abused while Maine protects the abusers. US Attorney General Eric Holder must appoint a special prosecutor to conduct an in-depth investigation into the corruption of public officials in Maine around the issues of child trafficking, child porn and child sex abuse. The silence and abuse must end now. ### Lori Handrahan, Ph.D. is a professor in Washington DC. She ran for US Congress in Maine and is from New Sharon/Sorrento Maine. Twitter: @dcprofessor1