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Portland, ME - Melvin “Mickey” Boutilier, Founder of Special Olympics Maine Accused of Grooming and Sexual Abuse in Lawsuit

Portland, ME - Melvin “Mickey” Boutilier, Founder of Special Olympics Maine Accused of Grooming and Sexual Abuse in Lawsuit
Published: April 10, 2024
By: Darla Medina
Last Updated on April 10, 2024

Founder of Special Olympics Maine Accused of Child Sexual Abuse

According to KRON 4, a recently filed lawsuit alleges that Melvin "Mickey" Boutilier, groomed and sexually abused a 9-year-old boy over a period of two decades. Bourilier is the late founder of Special Olympics Maine, located at 525 Main St D, South Portland, ME 04106. The plaintiff, who was not a Special Olympics athlete, claims that the organization was aware of Boutilier's history of abuse but failed to take action.

Allegations of Grooming and Child Abuse

The lawsuit, filed by Mark Frank, states that the abuse began in 1967 when Frank was just 9 years old. Boutilier, who coached a basketball team called "Boot's Bombers" in Gorham, Maine, allegedly targeted Frank by hosting pizza parties and gradually introducing him to explicit material and alcohol. The abuse escalated when Frank turned 11, and it continued even after the formal incorporation of Special Olympics Maine in 1973. Frank claims he was coerced into accompanying Boutilier on business trips, where the abuse persisted.

Special Olympics Responds to Allegations of Sexual Abuse

Special Olympics International and Special Olympics Maine expressed shock and sadness at the allegations, emphasizing the importance of trust within the organization. In a joint statement, they acknowledged the severity of the claims and vowed to investigate them thoroughly. The organizations also stressed that the passage of time does not diminish the gravity of the allegations.

Lawsuit Seeking Damages for Decades-Long Abuse

Mark Frank's lawsuit became possible after the Maine Legislature extended the statute of limitations on civil lawsuits for childhood sexual abuse. This change has allowed numerous victims to come forward and file lawsuits against various organizations, including the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland and summer camps. Frank's lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, alleging debilitating emotional injury and permanent psychological damage.

Boutilier's History of Involvement With Children

Melvin Boutilier, who passed away in 2012 at the age of 83, was a respected figure within the community. He served in the Army in Korea before embarking on a career as a special education teacher in Maine and New Hampshire. Boutilier's involvement with Camp Waban, a day camp for children with intellectual disabilities, and his experience at the inaugural Special Olympics in Chicago inspired him to establish the first Special Olympics Maine. He even organized the nation's first winter Special Olympics in Maine.

Possibility of Additional Victims Abused by Boutilier

Attorney Michael Bigos, representing Mark Frank, urged any other potential victims to come forward. According to Bigos, organizations during that era were well aware of the risks of child sexual abuse, particularly when vulnerable children were involved. He believes that Special Olympics Maine failed to adequately train and protect against known risks of abuse.

As the investigation into the allegations unfolds, the focus remains on uncovering the truth and ensuring justice for any victims. The severity of the accusations against the founder of Special Olympics Maine has sent shockwaves through the community, prompting a reevaluation of safeguarding measures within organizations that serve vulnerable populations.

Dan Lipman Co Lawyer
Hi, I’m attorney Dan Lipman. I’m a lawyer here in Maine, and if you or a loved one have suffered abuse, I’d be happy to discuss your legal options in a free consultation.
(888) 997-3792

Addressing Grooming and Sexual Abuse in Programs like Special Olympics

In an informative interview, we sat down with Attorney Dan Lipman, an experienced Maine sex abuse lawyer, to discuss the critical topic of grooming and sexual abuse in programs such as Special Olympics. This conversation highlights the legal rights available to victims and explores avenues for holding negligent parties accountable. Join us as we dig into the complexities of these cases and gain valuable insights from Attorney Lipman's experience in seeking justice for survivors of abuse.

Editor Darla Medina (DM): Thank you for joining us, Mr. Lipman.

Attorney Dan Lipman (DL): Thank you, Darla. It's a pleasure to be here.

DM: The recent allegations against the founder of Special Olympics Maine have raised concerns about the accountability of organizations in cases of child sexual abuse. What legal rights do victims have in such situations?

DL: Victims of grooming and sexual abuse in programs like Special Olympics have legal options to pursue justice. They can file civil lawsuits seeking compensation for the harm they have suffered, including emotional and psychological trauma. It's important to note that Maine recently expanded the statute of limitations on childhood sexual abuse cases, allowing more victims to come forward and seek justice.

DM: How can these victims hold negligent parties accountable?

DL: Holding negligent parties accountable starts with identifying all potential liable parties, including individuals and organizations. It is crucial to thoroughly investigate whether the organization had knowledge of the abuse and failed to take appropriate action. By filing a civil lawsuit, victims can seek justice and potentially prevent future instances of abuse by holding these parties accountable.

DM: Are there any specific challenges victims may face when pursuing legal action against organizations like the Special Olympics?

DL: Victims may face challenges such as fear, trauma, and the complexity of legal procedures. However, with the support of experienced attorneys, they can navigate these challenges. It's important for victims to know that they are not alone, and that there are resources available to help them through the legal process.

DM: Thank you, Mr. Lipman, for sharing your knowledge on this important topic. It's crucial that victims understand their legal rights and have avenues to seek justice.

DL: Absolutely, Darla. It's vital to ensure that victims of grooming and sexual abuse in programs like the Special Olympics have a voice and the opportunity to hold negligent parties accountable. Thank you for providing a platform to discuss this issue.

Seeking Justice and Support for Past Child Sexual Abuse? Contact Us for a Free Consultation Today.

If you or a loved one have been a victim of grooming or sexual abuse in programs like the Special Olympics, we are here to help. Our experienced team understands the complexities of these cases and is dedicated to seeking justice for survivors and their families. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation, where we can discuss your legal rights, provide guidance, and offer support during this challenging time. You are not alone, and together, we can work towards healing and holding negligent parties accountable.



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About the Author
Darla Medina
About Darla Medina
Editor: Darla is a content writer with a focus on the legal field. She covers cases of sexual abuse, drunk driving, and preventable violent crime for the Legal Herald. Contact Darla: This article was fact checked prior to publishing by this author to ensure compliance with our rigorous editorial standards. We will only use authoritative sources. Our values compel us to provide only trustworthy information. If you find an error, please contact us.
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