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Father McRae and Owen Labrie continued: An Institutional Cover-Up of Gross Misconduct

Claire Best

It is quite clear that public officials and the police think that lying to, stalking, bullying, and force-feeding minors with fabricated tales is acceptable in order to gain convictions.

In 2003, Carlene Hempel wrote an article in about New Hampshire’s top sex crimes police detective, James F McLaughlin: In January 2022, James F McLaughlin’s name appeared on the Laurie list of corrupt police officers in New Hampshire. It transpires that the State has known about him since 1985. This was a full 9 years before he framed Father Gordon MacRae who is still in prison 28 years later despite his claims of innocence, several Wall Street Journal articles indicating his innocence, and a 3-year investigation by an ex-FBI agent indicating his innocence. This summer James F McLaughlin’s name was removed again from the Laurie List in a private arrangement:

Was James F McLaughlin actually a sex predator himself, hiding out on chat rooms as “Adam” a teenage boy, taking photos of minors, lurking on campus under cover of the law?

How much is the State of New Hampshire hiding in order to get away with gross misconduct and how much of that relies on protecting James F McLaughlin and others who worked with him? Is this the real reason that Father Gordon MacRae has been denied justice all these years?

One of the people who worked with James F McLaughlin was Monsignor Edward Arsenault who went to prison in 2014 for defrauding the Diocese, a dead priest’s estate and the Catholic Medical Center. As he went to prison (where he was quickly transferred to Keene County Jail and then put on home confinement before being released with a new name, Edward Bolognini, and all his restitution paid while he was away) he shook hands with Assistant AG Jane Young who is now US Atty for New Hampshire. One of the other people working with James F McLaughlin was Chuck Douglas Esq. who had been NH Supreme Court Chief Justice in the 90s, during which time he sent a 13-year-old impregnated rape victim back to the Youth Detention Center after she failed to name her rapist.

The State has suddenly found millions of documents regarding abuse at the center which have been hidden for decades. Chuck Douglas Esq. was the attorney who filed hundreds of suits against the Diocese of Manchester with little to no evidence.

When Arsenault was sent to prison in 2014, Douglas said that he was very pleasant to deal with. Earlier this year, the Catholic Medical Center was fined $3.8 million in a kickback scheme by the US DOJ. Chuck Douglas then stepped in to represent the whistleblower for his reward for being a whistleblower.

It is my suspicion that, in fact, Chuck Douglas stepped in to gate keep - to prevent the US DOJ from discovering more about the CMC and kickbacks, which could have led to Arsenault as well as Gordon MacDonald (now NH SC Chief Justice) who represented the Diocese when Arsenault was there and who represented Purdue Pharma when it was sued by NH.

Gordon MacDonald managed to block an external audit of Purdue internal documents which could have exposed himself and Arsenault who was in charge of increasing profits for CMC.

Partnered with Gordon MacDonald at Nixon Peabody sorting out the settlements with Arsenault was David Vicinanzo who is the legal representative for the NHCADSV and who praised Judge Richard McNamara for keeping the Grand Jury Criminal Investigation Report into St Paul’s School private following NH v Owen Labrie. The settlement agreement with St Paul’s School was identical to the settlement agreement with the Diocese of Manchester and involved the very same people: Gordon MacDonald who had represented the Diocese was now AG; David Vicinanzo who had represented the Diocese was now repping NHCADSV who got a contract with St Paul’s School out of the settlement.

Chuck Douglas who filed the suits against the Diocese was filling the suits against St Paul’s School and Chair of the NH Judicial Selection Committee.

Concord Monitor journalist Ann-Marie Timmins worked with the prosecutors and was sent to interview Father Gordon MacRae in prison to ask him to speak about sexual assaults with people he’d never met.

Gordon MacDonald asked him to confess to sexual assaults with people he’d never met for quick settlements. David Vicinanzo was announced to be the AG back in 2003/4 and then suddenly withdrawn from that.

Lauren Noether, who was assistant AG at the time (2002-3), left to work for the Children's Advocacy Centers - but one address she worked at (10 Ferry Street, Concord New Hampshire) was reported to the Boston FBI in 2016 for suspected child trafficking.

Other addresses at 10 Ferry Street include Virtus LLC “Protecting God's Children” (which is listed in the Pandora Papers and was founded by Edward Arsenault in 1999). On the board of the Child Advocacy Centers non-profit is Andrew H Crews who was CEO of Autofair, also listed in the Pandora Papers.

Crews is also on the board of Granite One Health (tied to the CMC I understand), a board member of Primary Bank and president of the NH State Lottery for which Chuck Douglas’ 5th wife is Chair. Supporting the Children's Advocacy Centers is a Gambling enterprise as well. Andrew H Crews stepped down from Autofair in December 2021 and the business was sold to an address in West Palm Beach Florida (which coincidentally happens to be where Edward Arsenault has a company called DaFranz dealing in all things Italian, per its business registration). DaFranz was opened in 2021. Whether that is coincidental or not I don’t know, but it’s very odd. James F McLaughlin won the lifetime achievement award from New Hampshire Police and Fire Department in 2016.

The same year, Detective Julie Curtin from Concord (the investigator in NH v Owen Labrie and in the St Paul’s Grand Jury Criminal Investigation under Jane Young from the AG’s office when Gordon MacDonald was there) was given an award for her work in the Labrie investigation and “Justice for the victim”. This was despite failing to follow the most basic protocols and for failure to investigate DNA - which did not match Owen Labrie’s - and for lying on a sworn affidavit about a SANE nurse report (SANE nurse corrected it in testimony in trial). I found complaints against Detective Julie Curtin from 2005 which were turned down by the NH Supreme Court. I made complaints about Julie Curtin in 2020 to the LEACT commission, which resulted in my being stalked by Amanda Grady Sexton and the NHCADSV.

I was then threatened with a defamation suit by Shaheen & Gordon (representing Amanda Grady Sexton of NHCADSV) in July 2021, which I perceive to be witness intimidation for having the courage to speak up against public corruption by elected officials and state agencies.

It is impossible to separate Shaheen & Gordon from Senator Jeanne Shaheen on the one hand and the attorney general’s office, state agencies and Governor on the other.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen has spoken publicly about the importance of an independent judiciary for a functioning democracy, yet her own state can’t seem to follow the practice because her own husband, former US attorney for New Hampshire, is wrapped up in it.

There is clear and irrefutable evidence that there is a coordinated racket going on which started with the Diocese of Manchester and the framing of Father Gordon MacRae by James F McLaughlin, which benefited the pockets of Gordon MacDonald, David Vicinanzo, the AG’s office, Chuck Douglas Esq. and Edward Arsenault.

There is clear and irrefutable evidence that this same extortion racket was repeated in the framing of Owen Labrie (who had the same judge, Larry Smukler, who had turned down Father Gordon MacRae for a retrial in 2014) with the very same people. After I wrote to John Scippa at Police Standards and training about Concord Police Detective Julie Curtin, he forwarded my complaint to the AG’s office. Jane Young, at the time assistant AG, replied to me saying that Geoffrey Ward another assistant AG, would reply.

Despite several follow ups, he never did.

Then Geoffrey Ward deleted the files of 28 corrupt police officers.

I believe that Detective Julie Curtin was one of these because not only had I complained about her and there was the 2005 complaint about her in a sex crimes case but, also, in the book “Notes on a Silencing” by Lacy Crawford, there is a chapter in which Crawford states that Curtin went to St Paul’s school to get files without a warrant.

This chapter irked AG Gordon MacDonald and Assistant AG Jane Young who wrote to the publisher Little Brown about it, calling it “Reckless”.

A small detail was missing in the above article: Police Detective Julie Curtin, most likely trained by James F McLaughlin, was working under the specific instruction of the AG’s office who would have authorized the access to school files without warrants and intercept calls trained by the NHCADSV to wealthy targets. In March/April 2020, I was contacted by an alum of St Paul’s School who told me that he had been the target of one such intercept call from Julie Curtin, who had obtained the files of an old girlfriend of his from his time at the school.

It transpires that Curtin had cold called the woman and essentially convinced her she could be a 'Victim for money'.

The NHCADSV stated earlier this year that they train the police for these intercept calls.

In this particular case, the alum was threatened with charges. He got a local attorney who got hold of the intercept call and could hear Julie Curtin training the woman on the other end of the line. This alum was told that if he paid a large sum of money the charges would be dropped.

He complied and the threat of bogus charges went away. He was told the woman was hard up and just wanted money. How much money made its way to her after others took their cut would be interesting to see. When ABC/GMA were about to air an interview with Owen Labrie in July 2019, Amanda Grady Sexton of the NHCADSV and City of Concord Public Safety Committee, which approves the budgets for Concord Police including payments to witnesses for Grand Jury (per a recent admission from Concord Police Chief Bradley Osgood), led a campaign to block the show from airing. She was successful.

It transpires that at the time the program would have aired, Chuck Douglas and Steven J Kelly were in mediation on a $70 million class action #MeToo suit against Dartmouth which settled two weeks later for $14 million.

The NHCADSV got an estimated $2.865 million from the suit while Douglas and Kelly made $4.9 million. These were the same attorneys who sued St Paul’s School in the wake of the Labrie trial, one of the same attorneys who sued the Diocese in the wake of the MacRae trial. At the time of the Diocese suits in the early 2000’s, Jim Rosenberg of Shaheen & Gordon was in the AG’s office. He has been quoted about the Diocese case and how they went to find a victim in order to open the floodgates.

Jim Rosenberg represented the State witness, Andrew Thomson, a snitch in the Labrie trial whose mother was legal counsel to Governor Maggie Hassan.

The prosecutor admitted in a side bar to Judge Smukler that the mother of a 15-year-old female had wanted the police to investigate Andrew Thomson for unlawful sexual relationship with her daughter.

But within one hour of his interview with the Concord Police he had emailed to sever his relationship with the girl and he was quoted as a state witness in the affidavit the police used to frame Owen Labrie. Full exposure of New Hampshire’s cover up of James F McLaughlin and other police officers involved in sex crimes in New Hampshire will shed light on how sex abuse of minors at the state’s youth detention facilities continued for decades.

It will also shed light on an abhorrent racket to defraud the Diocese and St Paul’s School by framing a priest and a scholarship student and to cover up the evidence by deleting police officer files and via “Non-profits” who get kickbacks from civil suits.

Claire Best heads Claire Best & Associates, an international talent agency representing some of the most respected names in the entertainment industry for film, television, and commercials that was established in 2010. She had 16 years of experience in the agency business as an owner, C.E.O. and C.O.O. before Claire Best & Associates. Prior to becoming an agent in 2002, Claire was a production executive at New Line Cinema and Fine Line Features where she oversaw the production of many well-known domestic and international feature films from 1996-2001. Claire has also produced and executive produced a number of award winning and critically acclaimed features, shorts, and documentaries. She is a voting member of B.A.F.T.A. and the Television Academy (see:

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