Within an hour of learning he was under investigation for abusing boys, Rev. Robert Carlson placed a telling phone call to his former boss, Penobscot County Sheriff Glenn Ross.
He told the sheriff, "because of Sandusky, people would have to take the (charges) against him seriously," Ross later told an investigator for the Maine State Police.
"Sandusky," of course, is former Penn State football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky who is now spending the rest of his life in jail for using his position of trust and authority to abuse a long procession of boys.
Carlson knew, of course, that suspicions about him had never been taken seriously, but he knew the Sandusky case had set a new standard for accountability.
The Maine Attorney General's Office should now realize the same and move forward with the Carlson investigation.
In Pennsylvania, a thorough criminal investigation has resulted in charges against two Penn State officials for failing to report Sandusky's abuse and for trying to mislead a grand jury about their involvement.
Former Penn State President Graham Spanier may be facing similar charges for knowing of the abuse and failing to report it while simply denying Sandusky access to campus facilities.
Carlson, who killed himself by jumping from the Penobscot Narrows Bridge after learning of the investigation, died after leaving a four-decade-long trail of suspicion.
Like Jerry Sandusky, Carlson had spent a lifetime working himself into positions of trust and responsibility in the community, including 36 years working within the Penobscot County Sheriff's Department and jail.
He was president of Penobscot Community Health Care, chaplain for several police and fire departments, chaplain at Husson University, pastor of a church and recently honored by local Boy Scouts.
Like Sandusky, Carlson reportedly "groomed" children by gaining their trust and then helping them financially.
A 104-page Maine State Police report, based upon interviews with victims, touches on at least a half dozen times people in positions of authority suspected Carlson of abusing children.
But, in each case, warnings were unheeded and obvious clues unpursued by those in authority.
Prominent among them is former Husson President Bill Beardsley, now commissioner of the Maine Department of Conservation, who apparently received several reports of Carlson's abuse in his capacity as president. Beardlsey reportedly confronted Carlson, who then resigned his Husson position.
Whatever Beardsley heard or suspected was not forwarded to police, as is apparently required under Maine law.
Again, eerie similarities to Penn State, where the university president and other officials chose to protect their institution but do no more.
The Carlson report also mentions an unnamed therapist who was treating at least six of Carlson's victims and a treatment facility that was treating others.
Maine law requires a variety of professionals, including psychiatrists, counselors and social workers, to report suspected abuse to law enforcement officers.
This duty isn't optional; it is required by law and there are penalties for failing to comply.
While revealing, the Maine State Police report on Carlson does not attempt to answer whether any of these people violated the law.
That must be the next step in this case, a full and public investigation of whether these people enabled, with their silence, Carlson to continue victimizing children.
Police have been oddly silent on whether the Carlson case is closed or moving forward to answer those questions.
Dropping the matter now, without a complete investigation, would send the message that silence in sexual abuse cases can be condoned.
Only a thorough investigation can show otherwise.
The opinions expressed in this column reflect the views of the ownership and the editorial board.