The attorney for a former Biddeford police officer, the subject of a sexual abuse investigation more than 20 years ago, said he is breaking his silence about his client because the former officer has become a victim of “mob justice.”

Gene Libby of the Biddeford law firm Libby O’Brien Kingsley & Champion sent a letter Friday to the Portland Press Herald and other news media outlets saying the allegations against his client, Norman Gaudette, were presented to a grand jury in 1991 and that the grand jurors determined there was not enough evidence to prosecute.

Much of the six-page letter focuses on Libby’s assertion that Gaudette has been the victim of a smear campaign. The letter accuses a weekly newspaper – the Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier – of engaging in a “shameful exercise of character assassination” and “sensationalism.”

“I can stand silent no longer while a man and his family are pilloried by 25-year-old allegations that were determined legally insufficient to support criminal charges,” Libby wrote in his letter.

The newspaper’s managing editor, Molly Lovell-Keely, and reporter Ben Meiklejohn both were chastised in the letter for engaging in what Libby described as “yellow journalism.”

Lovell-Keely responded to a request for comment via Facebook on Saturday night, writing: “We stand by our work. We reached out to Libby and Gaudette several times.”

She said Gaudette had refused to respond to questions and instead told the Courier, “Why don’t you ask the chief?”

“We would have been happy to print Libby’s thoughts on the matter if he had returned our calls and emails,” Lovell-Keely said.

Meiklejohn referred media inquiries to Lovell-Keely.

Gaudette and Stephen Dodd, both former Biddeford police officers, have been the focus of sex abuse allegations that date back more than a decade and have rocked the city in recent weeks and months and been aired at a series of emotional public meetings.

The alleged victims and their supporters have asked the Biddeford City Council to suspend police Chief Roger Beaupre and Deputy Chief JoAnne Fisk and launch an outside investigation, and the council is scheduled to meet with the chief and deputy chief in private Monday.

The scandal was triggered three months ago by Matt Lauzon, a Boston businessman who went public on social media to accuse Dodd of sexually abusing him more than a decade ago. Lauzon and his supporters, including state Sen. David Dutremble of Biddeford, also raised questions about the city’s oversight of Gaudette.

Libby represented Gaudette in 1991 when Gaudette was being investigated by the Maine Attorney General’s Office for alleged sexual abuse. Libby, a former York County district attorney, said the alleged victim not only denied being sexually abused by Gaudette but reported that a former detective in the department who was supervised by Gaudette had offered to help the alleged victim with his own pending criminal charges in an effort to “get enough people (to testify) against Gaudette,” Libby wrote.

“What is happening in Biddeford these past few weeks looks like mob justice. Neither Norman Gaudette nor myself have any desire to quiet the victims of heinous and unforgivable abuse. What we seek is to avoid creating new victims in the quest for retribution,” Libby wrote.

Libby was not available Saturday for comment. Libby also represents Dodd, who was not mentioned in the letter.