BIDDEFORD — David Dutremble has one word for the emotion he sees and hears from residents following allegations that two former police officers sexually abused teenage boys in this mill city decades ago.

“There’s a lot of frustration,” the state senator said Wednesday, a day after dozens of people confronted city officials and demanded answers about an ongoing investigation into the abuse allegations. “The entire city is talking about it, but a lot of them don’t want to talk about it publicly. In private conversation they will ask me about it. They are very frustrated by the lack of answers.”

Frustration and anger from alleged victims of sex abuse and their supporters spilled over from social media, where it has simmered for months, and into a City Council meeting Tuesday evening. Outraged citizens, including several who shouted for councilors and the mayor to resign, demanded that city officials suspend the police chief and deputy police chief as the state Attorney General’s Office investigates allegations that a former officer, Stephen Dodd, sexually abused teenage boys in the late 1990s.

Residents at the meeting repeatedly said they were both angry and hurt by what they perceive as a lack of action by councilors and Mayor Alan Casavant. The crowd of about 70 broke into applause as resident Bob Provencher implored city officials to show leadership by suspending Police Chief Roger Beaupre and to show more support for victims.

Provencher said the allegations and lack of action have brought turmoil to his community, which recently celebrated a new walking bridge across the Saco River.

“The bridge over the river should be temporarily named ‘The Bridge Over Troubled Waters,’ because we have troubled waters here,” he said.

City officials say they are restricted by state law from discussing an ongoing investigation.

“Remaining silent is difficult and frustrating as mayor, and is equally as frustrating for members of the council,” Casavant said Tuesday before listening to more than an hour of comments from people calling for action.

The public outcry is driven by residents and sexual abuse survivors who have pursued an increasingly aggressive campaign to bring attention to the investigation and a Boston businessman’s allegations he was abused by Dodd as a teenager growing up in Biddeford.

Matt Lauzon, 30, first went public with his accusations on Facebook two months ago after becoming frustrated with the slow pace of the investigation. Since then, at least three other people have gone public with allegations of abuse at the hands of Dodd, who also was investigated in 2002 but not charged with a crime.

Residents demanding justice also point to another retired officer, Norman Gaudette, as evidence the city needs to act to stop abuse and hold responsible those who may have been in a position to stop it. Gaudette was accused of sexual abuse and investigated in the early 1990s but never charged.

Joanne Twomey, a former mayor and state representative, said she can’t get through the grocery store without someone stopping her to talk about the investigation.

“This has been stirring up for a while,” she said. “People are nervous and worried, as well they should be.”

On Facebook, updates from Lauzon about the case and his push for justice are met with dozens of comments of support.

But the swirling allegations, many of them disturbing and explicit, remain a sensitive subject of discussion in public.

Around the city Wednesday, residents at parks, playgrounds and shopping centers were reluctant to talk about it with a news reporter. Some people said they hadn’t heard much about it, while others said they don’t want to get involved. But privately, there is a lot of talk.

Bob Mills, a longtime city councilor, said he hears often from residents about the allegations and shares their frustrations over city officials’ inability to talk about the situation.

“Since this has arisen over the last few weeks, there are people who are losing trust in our public servants, and that’s not something I want to see,” he said. “We teach kids to go to a police officer if they’re in danger. My son said last night when he was watching the meeting that he wouldn’t be comfortable going to a police officer. That’s very disturbing.”

Walter McKee, the attorney representing Lauzon and three other victims, has said the city and police department will face lawsuits.

The Attorney General’s Office confirmed last week that it is investigating the allegations against a former police officer, but has provided no other details about the status of the investigation or when it will end. It’s unclear whether the agency will report its findings if no one is charged with a crime.

Lauzon said this week that he has not been interviewed by investigators about his allegations and was not asked to send a written statement until six months after Biddeford police forwarded his complaint to the attorney general.

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