Author's note: Generally, I will refrain from covering a story if I cannot find sufficient corroborating coverage of certain events. In this case, I have proceeded despite the fact that the only source is a single station; WCVB5 out of Boston, Massachusetts. There are too many red flags in the statements made to allow this story to disappear into obscurity.
5 Investigates gets all the credit for this story. They are giving survivors of the foster system in Massachusetts a voice and thankfully, the State of Massachusetts district attorney seems to be giving their case a fresh look.
The initial case concerning this licensed foster home in Oxford, Massachisetts is said to have come to light in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when the foster system was overwhelmed according to Peter MacKinnon, president of SEIU Local 509, which represents the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families social workers. In that case, Ray Blouin pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting two girls in the home in 2003.
"These red flags, I think it's something that DCF has gotten better at recognizing these things, but at the time when caseloads are so high and you had such stretched-thin resources, you're putting out fires and that's the danger of triage social work, that something could slip through the cracks. And maybe this is what happened here,” MacKinnon said.
Those "red flags" included reports from school nurses about adult size hand print bruises on Kristine's arm, and numerous other reports of abuse that would be made to teachers, social workers, and guidance counselors only to be later retracted for fear of reprisal.
In one instance, it is reported that the school nurse called Blouin directly to ask about the bruise on Kristine Blouin's arm which looked like an adult hand print. He denied any knowledge of it, and stated that he would follow up with his then wife who was a registered nurse. In a phone call placed by the school to follow up, Blouin stated that he and his wife both had no knowledge of how Kristine got the bruise.
“Because they did that, I ended up being beat so bad I blacked out. I woke up the next morning on my parents’ bed, and they kept me out of school for two days after that,” Kristine said. "Every time we would get a beating, they would keep us out of school if it was a really bad one for a few days."
The oldest girl in the foster home was named Jessica. In a statement to 5 Investigates, she said that she generally tried to fly under the radar of the Blouin's by keeping busy with chores and tending to a severely disabled, non-verbal girl that they kept in a basement room. She recalled seeing Mrs Blouin hit and kick the girl, but she denied it all and never faced charges for the abuse.
"I remember crying on the end of (her) bed just praying, crying,” Jessica said. Once she hit eighteen, she packed her bags and left the Blouin home to move in with her best friend. Despite escaping, she suffered from survivor's guilt and would often think of the other children that had been left behind to suffer more abuses. "I would bawl my eyes out wondering where the kids were, why was this all done to them?"
That worry drove Jessica back to the end of the block one day to pick up Kristen from a bus stop where she walked away from the foster home with only the clothes on her back and a single image from her childhood after moving into the Blouin home at two weeks old. From there, they went to DCF and the initial investigation started.
Unfortunately, the court ruling that would lead to Blouin leaving the home as a registered sex offender was not the end of the abuses.
After Blouin left the home, Mrs Blouin moved her new boyfriend into the home and from the emerging stories, the abuses continued.
John and Nathan Williams are brothers that were placed into the foster home. In 2004 another investigation was launched into the home by DCF, but the charges brought against the former Mrs Blouin and her boyfriend were dismissed after merely being sentenced to probation and the surrendering of parental rights of the brothers.
"What's gone through my mind as I am now a young man, is how disgusting this whole situation was,” John said. “I'll never forget when all the times that I was hog-tied, tied up in a diaper or thrown into a dog cage.” Kristine also reported there being times when she was bound, gagged, and thrown into a dog cage.
From prison, where Nathan is serving a 20 year sentence for rape, he said, “I honestly felt like I was gonna die,” in reference to the time spent in that foster home.
Kristine echoed the same sentiments when asked by Kathy Curran of 5 Investigates whether there was ever a time she thought she wouldn't survive. “All the time, all the time,” she answered. "It was abuse, abuse, abuse constantly.” She further said that “After a certain amount of time you, you're so used to it [the abuse], you know, you're numb to it.”
It wasn't just the foster parents though, that abused the children. A report indicates that Kristine reported being molested by Blouin's biological daughter as well, between the ages of 8 and 12 years old. Additionally, there were charges of bestiality as well. Criminal charges were brought against the Blouin daughter, but they were ultimately dismissed. "And to live that way, these people were sick, and I didn't even know that. I thought it was normal because I lived with them since I was 2 weeks old,” she said.
Jessica said, "Every now and again it comes back up and you just have to be strong and say that's not my life anymore."
"I would consider everything that every child went through at the Blouin home was considered some type of sexual abuse," John said. “Something like this affects you forever."