Barnes seeks questionable baby home
Appointment of guardian may add to cycle of abuse
Sunday, May 28, 2000
By Dianne Williamson
Telegram & Gazette Columnist
The baby will be born to a woman in prison. Soon, he may
be raised in the home of an alleged child molester.
Julie Ann Barnes, the 19-year-old charged in the
Dec. 3 warehouse blaze that killed six firefighters, wants her
mother appointed guardian of the baby she is due to deliver next
Her mother, Evelyn
Menard, is engaged to a minister whose parental rights were
terminated by a probate judge who found that he sexually molested
four of his children.
Thursday's Telegram & Gazette, the Rev. Arthur Marchand told a
reporter that he plans to set up a nursery for the baby in the
office of the home he shares with Ms. Menard in Rutland. The pair
met many years ago while in a group of parents who claimed they or
their spouses were unjustly accused by the state of abusing their
“I know he's innocent
and I know he's not going to do nothing to the baby,” Ms. Menard
said Friday. “My daughter loves him, too. She calls him 'daddy.'
But not everyone loves the
Rev. Marchand. One of his children, now 17 and living with adoptive
parents, is seeking criminal charges against his former father for
alleged sexual abuse that began when the teen was a
And in September 1994,
Worcester Probate Judge Joseph Lian terminated the parental rights
of the Rev. Marchand after numerous complaints of abuse and neglect
-- spanning some 25 years -- were supported by the state Department
of Social Services.
findings of fact are impounded, but a copy was obtained by the
Telegram & Gazette.
Lian wrote: “The court finds that Arthur Marchand is currently unfit
to further the welfare of his children based upon his ongoing
psychological dysfunction, his sexual molestation of four children,
his failure to seek appropriate services and therapeutic
intervention to resolve his problems, and his long-standing pattern
of abuse and neglect of all his children. This court further finds
that Mr. Marchand's unfitness is not temporary, and as such there is
no potential for future fitness.”
In a telephone interview last week, the Rev. Marchand, 52,
said he never molested any of his six children. He noted, correctly,
that he was acquitted in 1990 in Central District Court on a charge
of indecent assault and battery against a stepdaughter. In 1991, a
charge of rape of a child was dismissed after the alleged victim
refused to testify.
thing was a set-up, and the judge was too blind to see what was
going on,” said the Rev. Marchand, ordained by the New Testament
Fellowship Church in Texas. “Sex is only when you're going to
have children. I wish I could bring God and Jesus down to earth to
show people the truth about me.”
Ms. Barnes is awaiting trial at Framingham State Prison and is
due to give birth to a son June 10. She recently filed court papers
asking that her mother be appointed guardian of the baby.
The adoptive mother of two of the Rev.
Marchand's children said she was horrified to learn that another
child could be placed in his care. The mother, who asked that her
name not be used, became foster parent to the younger children when
they were 6 and 8, and adopted them five years later when the Rev.
Marchand's parental rights were terminated. Two of his older
children -- also alleged to have molested the younger children --
were placed into foster care by DSS in 1986.
“It sent complete chills up my spine,” said the woman.
“This man has made us very nervous for 10 years.” She said her
children remember the past abuse and suffer from emotional
During the hearing
conducted by Judge Lian in 1994, 34 exhibits were entered into
evidence and 15 witnesses testified.
The findings of fact notes that a stepdaughter, age 9,
reported that the Rev. Marchand had fondled her and threatened to
kill her if she revealed their “secret.” Another daughter, also 9,
said her father and two older brothers “pulled down their pants and
they did it to me.” The stepdaughter also testified that the Rev.
Marchand hit his youngest children with the metal part of a mop when
“This Court finds
that Arthur Marchand has demonstrated a pervasive and consistent
pattern of sexual molestation of his children,” Judge Lian wrote.
“The Court further finds that Arthur Marchand's now grown children
... were placed in care-taking roles for their younger sisters and
brother and that during those times, both (older children) sexually
abused (the younger children) ... This Court further finds that
Arthur Marchand presented no credible evidence at trial nor did he
testify on his own behalf to rebut the allegations of sexual
On Friday, the Rev.
Marchand and Ms. Menard said they don't live together, even though
he told a reporter Wednesday that they share his home and that he
was setting up a nursery for Ms. Barnes' baby.
Ms. Barnes was homeless and living in the
Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. building when a candle
started the fatal fire. She now faces six charges of
The Rev. Marchand
said he has known Ms. Barnes since she was 3 years old -- and that
he loves her. He also said that Ms. Menard's former boyfriend was
accused of abusing her, which is why Ms. Menard became involved in a
now-defunct parents' rights group he founded in 1975.
“I have to admit, there was some members
who really did kind of abuse their kids,” the Rev. Marchand
The woman who adopted his
two youngest children said she knows that he is one of those
abusers, and that he should never be allowed near Ms. Barnes' baby
or any other child.
that this man is now an ordained minister, the woman
“God works in
mysterious ways,” she said. “He really, really does.”