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By David M. Bresnahan
August 28, 2002

BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- Unlike many of the charges against Catholic priests who have been accused of molesting boys years ago, a Catholic Church caretaker is facing similar charges for alleged offenses in the past three months.

A young teen-age boy and his parents have come forward with information that led to the arrest of a Catholic Church employee accused of illegal sexual relations with a boy under 16 years old.

Reed Haviland, 50, was arrested Monday. He was a caretaker for the St. Thomas Aquinas Parish who has been charged with 20 counts of committing unnatural acts with the boy during June, July, and August. The boy worked at the church part-time during the summer under the supervision of Haviland.

Haviland has held the caretaker job for 30 years, but the church has announced that he has been fired and banned from church property.

An investigation is under way to determine if other boys who worked with him in the past may also have been molested. A search of the church and Haviland's home turned up evidence taken by the police, but the police would not say what was taken. Police say there is only one alleged victim at this time.

Experts on homosexual child molestation claim that offenders do not have just one victim. Police will be looking for a pattern of behavior over many years, and it is hoped other victims will have courage and provide information to police.

The Archdiocese of Boston is cooperating with the investigation, according to police. A spokesperson for the church would not comment on the case and referred all questions to the police.

Police said they were concerned that Haviland would have access to children when school began on Monday. The Town of Bridgewater is renting space in the parish center for middle school classes while repairs are made to Williams Middle School. The arrest was made away from the parish property.

Haviland denied the charges through his attorney, Joseph Krowski, who maintained that Haviland is a member of good standing in the community with no previous record.

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