The Maine Attorney General’s Office confirmed in an email obtained Thursday by the Portland Press Herald that it is investigating an allegation that a former Biddeford police officer sexually assaulted a teenage boy in the late 1990s.

Confirmation of the investigation came in an email that the Attorney General’s Office sent to a Portland television reporter who requested an interview with Attorney General Janet Mills regarding allegations against the former policeman. He has been identified by his alleged victims in public venues but is not being named by the state.

In the email, Attorney General’s Office spokesman Tim Feeley says the “allegation was referred to this office by the Biddeford Police Department. While not legally obligated to do so, best practices recommend that law enforcement agencies refer criminal allegations against current or former officers to another agency so as to avoid even the appearance of conflict.”

JoAnne Fisk, deputy chief of the Biddeford department, provided the Press Herald with a copy of the email that was sent to WMTW-TV reporter David Charns. Fisk declined further comment when contacted Thursday night.

Feeley could not be reached for comment Thursday night, but he states in the letter that the investigation will be conducted by detectives from the Attorney General’s Office. Feeley says Biddeford police have been cooperating with the state inquiry.

Boston resident Matthew Lauzon, who grew up in Biddeford, triggered a flurry of discussions about abuse on his Facebook page when he posted accusations last fall that former Biddeford police Officer Stephen M. Dodd sexually assaulted him more than decade ago. His allegations prompted Rick Alexander of South Portland to testify before the Biddeford City Council last month, accusing Dodd of raping him 40 years ago.


Dodd was suspended from the Biddeford department in 2002 when the Attorney General’s Office investigated a similar allegation. He was never charged, and retired in 2003. Dodd, who is 57, has not responded to requests for comments. His last known address was Lakeland, Florida.

The 30-year-old Lauzon has previously told the Press Herald that Dodd – who was a police sergeant at the time – sexually assaulted him in the woods near their homes more than a decade ago. Lauzon said he filed a complaint against Dodd with the Biddeford police in October that was forwarded to the Attorney General’s Office. He wonders why the Attorney General’s Office only contacted him recently to request a statement.

“While it’s great to hear the AG confirm an investigation, I must admit I don’t understand why they waited six months to ask me for a statement. If they didn’t feel my initial statement was clear enough, why wait six months to ask for a clearer one?” Lauzon said in an email to the Press Herald on Thursday night.

Fisk confirmed that Lauzon’s complaint was forwarded to the attorney general soon after her department received it last fall.

“Admittedly, I don’t feel a sense of comfort,” Lauzon wrote in his email. “Recently, the Biddeford Police Department reached out directly to at least one person alleging knowledge of sexual abuse by former officers, and Chief (Roger) Beaupre recently instructed me to send alleged victims to the Biddeford Police Department. Both of these things completely contradict that the AG is independently conducting an investigation and it worries me that the Biddeford police may be actively interfering with the AG investigation.

“At this time, I think it’s inappropriate for the attorney general or Biddeford Police Department to be conducting this investigation. I believe this is an investigation that should be performed by federal authorities.”

Lauzon’s attorney, Walt McKee of Augusta, said Thursday night that he is “confident” that his client is the individual referred to as the teenaged victim in Feeley’s email.


McKee said he represents Lauzon and three other individuals – he declined to name them – who allege they were sexually abused by Dodd and another Biddeford police officer. McKee believes that the state is investigating those allegations, as well as the ones brought by Lauzon.

McKee said he is “conducting a parallel investigation” with the help of a private investigator he has hired to assist his staff.

“We want to make sure we have another set of eyes on this case,” McKee said. “The persons who committed the abuse and those who knew about it and allowed it to happen will all face civil action.”

Feeley’s email raised concerns that publicizing the investigation would hamper its progress.

“Recognizing that there has been a great deal of discussion in the community and on social media websites regarding the current allegation, we caution that public dissemination of such information presents a potential of interfering with the integrity of the investigation,” he wrote. “Therefore we will refrain from responding, and we have asked other public officials to refrain from responding, to questions and comments in the media.”

Feeley said that while the statute of limitations for certain sex crimes was gradually eliminated by the Legislature, conduct alleged to have occurred many years ago may still be barred from prosecution by the limitations in place at the time. He did not elaborate on how this alleged crime might be affected by a statute of limitations.