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Merrimack Valley

October 24, 2012

Man tells of alleged abuse by priest


At St. Joseph Plains Center where area teenagers played basketball, Haddad said Frey watched him and others take showers, groped him or hit him on the buttocks. In the rectory, Frey would also grope Haddad or touch him inappropriately.

”All I kept thinking was ‘Why?’ I was scared and didn’t know what to do. I was brought up to trust priests and I wasn’t able to tell anybody,” he said.

Haddad said watching news reports of other sexual abuse triggered memories of his own case. He has learned to cope with the ordeal by taking anger management classes and seeing a therapist.

Yesterday, Haddad was accompanied by Robert M. Hoatson, co-founder and president of the New Jersey-based Road to Recovery, Inc., who drove from New Jersey to offer support. Hoatson, a former priest who became disillusioned with the way sexual abuse cases were handled said 30s and 40s is when victims start talking about their experiences.

It’s an age where they’re able to handle it,” he said.

Haddad acknowledged to being “a little embarrassed” standing on East Street holding the sign.

“But I’m not embarrassed enough to tell the truth. He (Frey) should be brought back and held accountable for what he did,” he said.

Haddad said last time he went to church was for the christening of his two boys ages 5 and 7.

“Why should I go after what happened? If I can’t trust the priest, who can I trust? I still believe in God, I still pray, but my faith has diminished,” Haddad said.

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