A Maine man who sued the state’s Catholic diocese in 2022, alleging he was abused as a 13-year-old boy by a priest in Rumford, has settled and agreed to drop his case.

The Parish of the Holy Savior, at 126 Maine Ave. in Rumford, pictured in 2021. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

Under the pseudonym John J.L. Doe, the man said he regularly attended the former St. John Parish, now part of the Parish of the Holy Savior, as a boy in the late 1940s. As an eighth-grader in early 1948, he said, he and two other children were playing outside the church when the Rev. Lucien Joseph Mandeville asked to drive them home. The lawsuit said Mandeville abused the boy in his car after dropping off the other two children.

The man, who is now 89 and lives in Franklin County, agreed to voluntarily dismiss his claims in March. His attorneys said they could not discuss the terms of that settlement Monday.

Timothy Kenlan said his client’s decision to settle was about “being able to put this behind him the best way he can for his healing.”

Kenlan and Michael Bigos said their legal team is working with about 75 people who have older claims against the Roman Catholic Bishop of Portland after the state in 2021 removed its statute of limitations for civil claims of child sexual abuse. At least 30 lawsuits have been filed but aren’t able to move ahead to trial as the Maine Supreme Judicial Court continues to weigh whether the new law is constitutional.

It’s the only case Bigos and Kenlan have filed against the diocese to reach a settlement so far.


“I think there are just a lot of people out there who are in limbo waiting for their ability to seek justice through these civil actions against the diocese and other perpetrators of abuse,” Kenlan said.

A spokesperson for the diocese did not respond to emails this week asking about the settlement.

Advocates for the law say the change was based on research that shows victims of childhood sexual abuse often need decades before they can fully understand and report what happened to them. The man in this case said in the lawsuit that he did not report the abuse until 2021, when he was 86 years old.

The diocese has argued the law undermines due process, exposing them to older claims that they can’t effectively defend themselves against in court.

The diocese is one of many institutions and individuals sued since the law change, with victims alleging these institutions knew or should have known about the abuse and failed to stop it or properly report it.

Kenlan and Bigos are also representing those suing the Special Olympics of Maine, the Bangor YMCA and Camp Kieve in Nobleboro, where in the ’60s and ’70s counselor William Cameron McCook Jr. was accused of sexually abusing boys.


They’re also representing dozens of plaintiffs who haven’t filed their complaints in court. Many of those cases get resolved before they reach litigation.

“We’re seeing private summer camps settle cases, we’re seeing private religious-based groups and churches settling their cases – and many individual perpetrators are settling their cases and taking responsibility,” said Kenlan.

Bigos said that hasn’t been the case with the diocese.

“The diocese is the only institutional defendant unilaterally not settling most of its cases,” Bigos said. “Justice is being done every week by institutional defendants and individual perpetrators taking responsibility.”

Mandeville, who died in 1984, was one of 20 credibly accused priests named in a 2005 report by the Office of the Maine Attorney General. According to the dismissed complaint, at least two other people came forward in 2002 to say Mandeville abused them in the 1940s and 1950s.

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