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Abuse Guardians
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PORTLAND, Maine — A disturbing lawsuit has been filed against the founder of Special Olympics Maine, Melvin “Mickey” Boutilier, alleging that he groomed and sexually abused a 9-year-old boy over the course of two decades. According to the lawsuit, Boutilier, who helped create Special Olympics Maine located at 525 Main St D, South Portland, ME 04106, used his position of power to sexually abuse a child.

Allegations of Decades-Long Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up

The plaintiff, Mark Frank, claimed the abuse started when he was just 9 years old. The lawsuit claims that Boutilier encouraged the victim to accompany him on business trips and provided him with employment, all while threatening him to keep the abuse quiet.

Despite his respected status as a special education teacher and pioneer of the Special Olympics movement in Maine and New Hampshire, Boutilier’s involvement with organizations serving vulnerable children, such as Camp Waban, appears to have provided him access and opportunity to prey on the vulnerable. It is possible that there may be additional victims.

Organizational Failure to Protect Children From Grooming and Sex Abuse

The lawsuit further alleges that Special Olympics International and Special Olympics Maine were aware of Boutilier’s history of abuse but failed to take action to stop him. The organizations have stated that they are “shocked and saddened” by the claims and are currently investigating the allegations.

Statute of Limitations Reform Allows Lawsuit for Past Child Sexual Abuse

The lawsuit was made possible by recent changes to Maine’s statute of limitations on civil lawsuits for childhood sexual abuse, which have allowed dozens of new cases to be filed against various organizations. Frank, now 65 years old, was able to bring this case against Boutilier’s estate, as the abuser passed away in 2012.

Calls for Accountability and Justice After Child Sex Abuse

Attorney Michael Bigos, representing the plaintiff, has encouraged other potential victims to come forward, stating that “organizations with access to and control of children, especially those with vulnerabilities, were well aware of the risk of perpetrators of sexual abuse.” The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for the “debilitating emotional injury and permanent psychological damage” suffered by the victim.

This disturbing case has sent shockwaves through the Special Olympics community and raised serious questions about the organization’s handling of past allegations of abuse. As the investigation continues, the public will be watching closely for any further developments and the pursuit of justice for the victims.

Holding Organizations Accountable: Victims’ Legal Rights After Child Abuse Allegations

Following the disturbing allegations against the founder of Special Olympics Maine, Melvin “Mickey” Boutilier, we sat down with Dan Lipman, an experienced Maine sex abuse lawyer, to discuss the legal options available for victims of such abuse. Lipman provided valuable information on the key rights and avenues for accountability that survivors of past child sex abuse may have, as well as the broader implications for negligent organizations.

Laurence Banville, Esq. (LB): Dan, thank you for speaking with us today. As a lawyer experienced in sexual assault cases, what are the legal rights and options that victims may have in a case like this?

Dan Lipman, Esq. (DL): Well, Laurence, this is a deeply troubling situation. Victims of childhood sexual abuse, even decades later, have important legal protections and paths to seek justice. The recent changes to Maine’s statute of limitations have been crucial, allowing survivors like Mr. Frank to have their day in court.

LB: Can you elaborate on how these statute of limitations reforms have impacted cases involving abuse in organizations like the Special Olympics?

DL: Absolutely. Prior to these changes, many victims were barred from filing civil lawsuits due to restrictive time limits. Now, survivors have a much longer window to come forward and hold both abusers and negligent organizations accountable. This is vital, as entities with access to vulnerable children often failed to protect them in the past.

LB: And what types of damages can victims seek in these cases?

DL: Victims can pursue compensation for the immense harm they’ve suffered – things like emotional distress, psychological trauma, and the lifelong impacts of the abuse. The goal is to provide some measure of justice and closure, while also sending a strong message that this kind of egregious conduct will not be tolerated.

LB: That’s an important point. Beyond the personal toll, what are the broader implications for organizations like the Special Olympics if they’re found to have enabled or covered up abuse?

DL: There can be severe consequences, both financially and reputationally. Negligent organizations can face substantial monetary damages, as well as a loss of public trust and support. This underscores the critical need for robust child protection policies, thorough background checks, and a culture of transparency and accountability.

LB: Thank you, Dan. You have shared helpful information for those who may be grappling with similar situations of abuse. We appreciate you taking the time to share your expertise.

DL: Of course, Laurence. I’m hopeful that by shining a light on these issues, we can empower survivors to come forward and help prevent future tragedies. No child should ever have to endure the kind of horrific abuse alleged in this case.

Seeking Support and Justice for Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

If you or a loved one have experienced sexual abuse within a program or organization, it’s crucial to know that you have rights and options for seeking justice and accountability. The legal landscape has shifted, with reforms to statutes of limitations allowing more survivors to come forward, even years later. Our team of compassionate and experienced attorneys is here to provide a free, confidential consultation and guide you through the process of pursuing the compensation and closure you deserve. Don’t hesitate to reach out – we’re committed to fighting for your rights and helping you move forward. Contact us today to take the first step.


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