PROVIDENCE — A former Bristol official accused of sexual misconduct with boys in the 1970s and 1980s was ordered Tuesday to stay away from an accuser who said he was threatened for speaking to the police.
The accuser, a 45-year-old man with Asperger syndrome, obtained a temporary restraining order against David E. Barboza on Tuesday, two weeks after telling Bristol police that Barboza had gone to his house and threatened him.
“I’m not afraid of him, but I’m kind of sad, because we were friends,” the man told the Globe. “He told my mother he’s not going to let me live this down, ever. He said he’s going to keep harassing me. He said he’d rather go to jail for murder than child molesting.”
No criminal charges were filed regarding the complaint, but State Police Major Timothy Sanzi confirmed last week that detectives were looking into the alleged threats. The man gave a statement to State Police Tuesday afternoon, after District Court Judge Christopher Smith granted the restraining order.
Barboza’s lawyer, Fausto Anguilla of Providence, declined to comment. He also advised Barboza not to comment.
The man is a regular parishioner at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Bristol, where Barboza, 64, was the administrator for 21 years.
After a Globe investigation this summer about three men who had accused Barboza of sex crimes when they were boys, Barboza abruptly resigned from his job at St. Mary’s.
The 45-year-old parishioner then went to the Bristol police.
In a two-page affidavit supporting the temporary restraining order, the man describes allegations of sexual misconduct and threats made by Barboza. He had reported the allegations to the police and discussed them in earlier interviews with the Globe.
He alleged that Barboza had made sexual advances in 1992, when he was 18, and that when he saw Barboza over the years, the older man turned the conversation to sex, according to the affidavit. “David would always discuss sexual things with me, like how he likes to call sex hotlines,” the man said in the affidavit.
Over the last several years, when the man needed food or clothing from St. Mary’s, he said, Barboza did other things to him at the church.
“David [Barboza] would grab the waistband of my pants and look down at my penis,” the man said in the affidavit. “I would tell David I’m not interested and I am not gay.”
The Globe generally does not identify people who say they are victims of sex crimes without their permission.
On Sept. 16 — after an initial story detailing the allegations against Barboza, and more than a month after the man spoke with police — Barboza went to his house and “told me I’m going to burn in hell for ‘throwing him under the bus,’ ” the man said in the affidavit.
“He said, ‘What’s with you going to State Police?’” the man also told the Globe in an interview. “He said, ‘You threw St. Mary’s under the bus, he said our friendship’s over, you’re dead to me, you’re going to burn in hell.’ ”
The man said that he told police the truth about Barboza. “Why would I lie to hurt someone? I wouldn’t,” he said. “It was really, really true.”
His mother, in an interview and in the court affidavit, said Barboza told her that he would run her son over if he saw him again. While she worried about her son’s safety, she said Barboza had been a friend to them.
She said that Barboza and the Rev. Barry Gamache at St. Mary’s had given them money for food, “so I personally don’t have anything against Dave,” she said in an interview. “I told [my son] ‘He never raped you. It’s no big deal.’ I told [my son] I never saw him do it. [My son] said, ‘He never did it when you were around.’ ”
After Barboza’s visit, the man said, he immediately told a friend, Walter Smith, the grand knight of the Bristol Knights of Columbus, who notified Bristol police. Smith could not be reached for comment.
Police declined to release the report to the Globe, which requested a copy under the state public records law. “The investigation determined that no charges would be filed in this incident, therefore the document(s) are not for public release,” Lieutenant Steven St. Pierre wrote in the denial on Sept. 25.
Bristol police forwarded the report to the State Police last week, State Police Major Sanzi said. The two agencies have been investigating jointly since the initial Globe story about Barboza in July.
The man said a Bristol officer advised him to get a restraining order — which is a civil matter, not a criminal case — but he didn’t have transportation. Joe DeMelo, a Bristol resident who helped organize a demonstration outside of Barboza’s house in August, drove the man and his mother to District Court and to the State Police on Tuesday.
The man’s allegations are detailed in the affidavit, which concludes: “I don’t want to be harassed anymore and don’t know what [Barboza] will do next because he is losing everything.”
A hearing on the restraining order is scheduled for Oct. 21.
During Barboza’s tenure at St. Mary’s, the Diocese of Providence investigated several complaints against him alleging past sexual abuse of boys, the Globe reported last week.
While both Bishop Robert Mulvee and, later, Bishop Thomas Tobin were told about the investigation, the diocese said that Gamache was responsible for employees at the church.
Gamache told the Globe the complaints didn’t seem credible, and he found Barboza’s explanations more convincing than the findings of the diocese’s investigator.
In response to questions about how the investigation was handled, a spokeswoman for the diocese said Gamache would have considered various factors, “including credibility of claimants, the age of the allegations, denials by the accused, the accused’s then-standing in the community, employment law restrictions on an employer’s use of arrest (as opposed to conviction) information, [and] the duties of Mr. Barboza’s job.”
The diocese said it consulted the Bristol police, who did not bring any criminal charges.
The diocese did not address questions about how the investigation was handled by Bishop Tobin.
Mitchell Garabedian, the Boston lawyer who helped reveal clergy sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston, called for Tobin to immediately publicly release all files, including secret files, concerning Barboza and any one else accused of sexual abuse, “so that victims can try to heal.”
Amanda Milkovits can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.