Why a forensic psychiatrist?

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We had a power outage for several hours last night :(  Today the oil tank is being replaced and furnace cleaned so furnace off all day.  Thankfully it’s not too terribly cold out yet :)

My desktop computer was still running when the power went off last evening.  I thought I had saved everything I had been working on prior to the outage.  Not so.  So I was off hunting for links and articles all over again.

Anyway, here is the info I have put together on Dr. Harold J. Bursztajn,  a forensic psychiatrist identified in  the Saburo Kagei letter of 18 November 2014 as one of four member of the St. Mary’s International School panel  who are to conduct an inquiry into “the reported incidents” of abuse at SMIS

 _________________________

Harold J. Bursztajn, M.D

According to the CV provided by Mr. Kagei

 Dr. Harold J. Bursztajn, a graduate of Harvard Medical School and Princeton University and a forensic psychiatrist with a long-standing special interest in the prevention of sexual harassment and abuse in educational institutions. Dr. Bursztajn consults regularly with health and law professionals regarding victim witness interview methods and analyses.

I was puzzled at the inclusion of a forensic psychiatrist on the SMIS panel.  Granted I have no idea as yet what the terms of reference of the inquiry are, but it just struck me as odd that SMIS has decided to include not only a psychiatrist, but a forensic psychiatrist at that, on its panel.

For what purpose?

Why a forensic psychiatrist?

I admit I am skeptical.  Red flags.

I would say with just cause.  I am, however, always happy to learn that my skepticism was or is ill-founded.

My last ‘direct’ exposure to a forensic psychiatrist was at the child porn trial of Canada’s now disgraced, convicted and since defrocked Bishop Raymond Lahey.

I say “direct” only in the sense that I had the misfortune to sit in the courtroom while Dr. John Bradford testified at the Lahey sentencing hearing.   On 21 December 2014 I blogged “The Bishop’s porn.”  http://www.theinquiry.ca/wordpress/2011/12/21/the-bishops-porn/

Those who are interested in pursuing details further can follow the link.  If you want to know the mindset of at least one forensic psychiatrist, follow the link.

I will tell you that what distressed me most was the fact that Dr Bradford seemed to have no problem at all with Bishop Lahey’s behaviour.    None.  Bishop Lahey had 35 videos, a number of which depicted boys of various ages – some as young as six – performing various sex acts .  Bishop Lahey had stories which constituted child porn.  And Bishop Lahey had pictures of teenage boys involved in bondage or torture.

It didn’t fizz Bradford.  Not one little bit.

I know the fact that Lahey was at that time a bishop in the Roman Catholic Church was inconsequential to Dr. Bradford.  Perhaps that is fair enough?  But should any decent man be viewing such such smut?

I think not.

According to Bradford, Lahey denied having sex with children when he, Lahey, travelled to places such, as Thailand, – places known for the sex tourist trade.   Lahey denied.  That was it.  Lahey denied having sex with children on his travels, therefore Lahey did not have sex with children on his travels, therefore Lahey  is not a paedophile.

Not only did Bradford conclude that Lahey is not a paedophile, under cross-examination the forensic psychaitrist flatly refused to categorize Lahey as a paedophile, hebophile or ephebohile – and he thus concluded that there was no need of treatment of any kind!

With that in mind I set off to find out what I could about the SMIS inquire forensic psychiatrist.

Here is what I have found:

1.   The son of a Holocaust survivor Dr. Harold J Bursztan is listed as Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at both Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Cambridge, Mass and at Harvard Medical School

2.   Dr. Bursztajn not only has special interest in prevention of sexual harassment and abuse multiple areas of special interest, he has multiple special interests.  He has  According to his online profile, the doctors special areas of interest include (and I will spell them all out as listed for the sake of those who prefer not to click in the link):

“… medical and psychiatric malpractice, psychiatric diagnosis, suicide prevention, sexual boundary violation claim evaluations, risk management consultation, boundary training, detection of malingering, pain impairment evaluations, informed consent, medication management standards, managed health care, psychiatric and forensic neuropsychiatric autopsies, testamentary capacity, diminished capacity, death penalty mitigation, and employment related issues such as ADA, disability, workers’ compensation, and sexual harassment.”

And further to that

Dr. Bursztajn’s litigation prevention services include both continuing education workshops and individual consultations. He has taught clinicians, judges, and attorneys on a variety of forensic topics, including evaluation of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and detection of medical and psychiatric malingering and misattribution, as well as a variety of clinical topics, including informed consent, assessment of suicide, pain management, psychopharmacology, the addictions, and the treatment of acutely and chronically mentally ill patients. He also consults widely to both public and private organizations including state and federal agencies, the courts, law firms, health care providers, educational institutions, and corporations.

 A litigation prevention service?  I realize that doesn’t offer much for those poor boys who molested at SMIS before the statute of limitations ran out in Japan.  And it is of no aid to those who can not legally attain justice because of the geographical dilemmas posed when a boy from country A, is molested by a religious brother from country B, and the sexual abuse transpired in country C tweny, thirty or more years ago.

But what if a religious brother from country B molested a boy from country C in country C, and country C has a statute of limitations and the abuse is recent? There are all sorts of what if here. are there not?

And what I wonder constitutes “medical and psychiatric malingering and misattribution”?

And what of of “evaluation of Post-traumatic Stress”?

3.     Dr. Bursztajn is listed as an expert witness on numerous sites, and so, for example, the doctor has added his name to the SEAK Expert Witness Directory and has identified his  specialities and experience as follows:

Independent Medical Psych. Evaluations, Forensic Psychiatry, Expert Opinion Formulation, Managed Health Care, Malpractice, Clinical Trials, Employment Issues, Organizational Consulting, Family & Custodial Issues. Harvard Medical School Sr. Faculty

4.   For those who like me are trying to sort out what exactly a forensic psychiatrist is, according to the Accredited Psychiatry and Medicine Medical and Psychiatric Experts website on a page committed to Bursztajn

“A medical expert is a physician who has the requisite clinical experience and academic achievement to form an objective medical opinion to a reasonable degree of medical certainty. A forensic psychiatrist is a physician who integrates clinical experience, knowledge of medicine, mental health, and the neurosciences to form an independent, objective opinion. Relevant data are gathered and analyzed as part of a process of alternative hypothesis testing to formulate an expert medical/psychiatric opinion. This expert opinion can be effectively communicated by written report, deposition, or courtroom testimony. The applications of forensic psychiatry are widespread in settings ranging from health care and the workplace to criminal justice and public safety questions.”

According to that same site ,

“Employment issues, including worker’s compensation and disability law, supervisory negligence, workplace discrimination, and wrongful termination can benefit from a forensic neuropsychiatric evaluation. Such an evaluation begins with a review and analysis of medical records, depositions and supporting documents. Initial working hypotheses may be supplemented by a forensic psychiatric examination of the plaintiff or the insured. This process can result in the formulation of an expert opinion as to the validity, nature, and extent of the claims at issue. Areas of interest include risk factors for misdiagnosis, misattribution, malingering, or motivation for secondary gain.”

The question of course is, which is it?  Will Dr.Bursztajn conduct a forensic examination of the plaintiff or the insured?

And, yes, of course, the other question is:  will the inquiry process entail  entail the doctors  “expert opinion”  of the validity of the victims’ claims and in that context the  “risk factors for misdiagnosis, misattribution, malingering, or motivation for secondary gain”?

Further to that we learn that Dr. Bursztajn has been retained by both plaintiffs and defence:

“Forensic neuropsychiatric evaluation regarding reasonable accommodation claims and causation of emotional harm is among Dr. Bursztajn’s areas of special forensic interest. In this regard he has been retained by both plaintiff’s and defense counsel, and has advised the judiciary and psychiatrists in training.”

 And, also of interest

“Both true and false allegations of sexual harassment are made in the workplace. The presence or absence of psychological trauma is not enough to prove sexual harassment. False memories, desire for attention or revenge, and later reconsideration of consent can all lead to false allegations. At the same time, true allegations may not initially be considered credible. While a treating psychiatrist’s goal is to help alleviate the presenting emotional and psychological pain and trauma without necessarily determining the facts of the incident, a forensic psychiatrist is trained to objectively evaluate claims such as that of sexual harassment. Such an evaluation yields more accurate testimony regarding the grounds on which the claim of sexual harassment is made, and potential emotional and physical damages.”

Does the process for sexual harrasment relate to child sexual abuse?  I think it may?

Does this then mean that a forensic psychiatrist considers him/herself the only one qualified to determine the truth?

5.   In 1993 Dr. Bursztajn co-authored The Rebirth of Forensic Psychiatry in Light of Recent Historical Trends in Criminal Responsibility

 A quote:

For at the heart of the conundrum of forensic psychiatry is the tension between the legal system’s — and people’s — wish for simple answers, a wish the psychiatrist (like any other expert) must inevitably disappoint, and a more realistic appreciation of science as offering merely the deepest understanding possible under the circumstances. Once the naive belief in “exact” science is replaced by a more contextual notion of what scientific knowledge is, it becomes possible to appreciate the numerous ways in which forensic psychiatrists deploy this scientific and human understanding in both criminal and civil law.

And now,  scroll down to “The Changing Landscape of Forensic Practise” for the following comment on Sexual Harassment”:

Sexual harassment. The forensic psychiatrist contributes to the disposition of sexual harassment claims in two ways. The first is by assessing the credibility of witnesses, which may be impugned by a preexisting psychiatric condition or enhanced by prior success in treatment. When a possible false claim is at issue, the forensic expert can confront both parties with alternate scenarios and evaluate their responses. [39] The second stage is the determination of damages, which may be affected by the effects of prior emotional vulnerability or hypersensitivity.

 Is this what Dr. Bursztajn will be doing for SMIS?  I truly don’t know.

6.  Dr. Bursztajn was a co-author of the UNESCO Chair of Bioethics 2008 publication Psychiatric Ethics and the Rights of Persons With Mental Disabilities in Institutions and the Community

 Scroll down to page 20 to read Case 3.  It’s only four pages.

True, the case deals with committing a convicted paedophile to a psychiatric facility because he is deemed a risk, however what I found of interest is the fact that the authors question why those who have committed sex crimes are treated differently than other convicted criminals, and in relation to the rest of the article I get the sense that perhaps the authors are slightly offended that paedophiles are discriminated against in such cruel fashion?

I wouldn’t say that such a scenario (into a Psych hospital from incarceration) is at all true here in Canada, but it may be so elsewhere?  Actually, when it comes to Canada I believe that paedophiles and all other classes of molesters are treated with remarkable leniency, tolerance and kid gloves, and I truly do have trouble imagining any paedophile in Canada being forced into a psychiatric institution to ensure that children are not placed at risk.   It may have happened, but I don’t believe it is the norm?   It may happen elsewhere in the world, and if indeed such is the case I for one applaud those who place the safety and security of children above the “rights” of a convicted paedophile.

I will leave it at that.

Oh yes, there is the 03 April 2013 letter which Dr. Bursztajn co-authored regarding sex abuse at the prestigious the prestigious college preparatory Horace Mann School in New York.

I can find no indication that Dr. Bursztajn became involved in an inquiry at the school.

At the end of the day the burning questions for me are:

  • What role will Dr. Bursztajn play at the up-coming SMIS inquiry?
  • Who decided that a forensic psychiatrist should be part of the SMIS inquiry team, and why?

Enough for now,

Sylvia

Posted in Accused or charged, Brothers of Christian Instruction, Canada, Non clerical RC sexual predators, Raymond Lahey, Scandal | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are children and victims first and foremost?

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I’ve been searching for information on Harold J. Bursztajn, M.D.

Dr. Bursztajn, you may recall from the Saburo Kagei letter of 18 November 2014 , has been chosen as a member of the recently announced St. Mary’s International School panel formed in response to “allegations of sexual misconduct” at the school.

I think I have enough information together now – could go on and on forever looking and searching but the time comes to call  a halt and move on to other things.  I will put the info and links together and post shortly.

Given that we have no idea what the terms of reference of the panel are and by whom the panel members were selected it is a bit of a chore to sift through information to try to sort out what role each might play in the “inquiry” and to determine if indeed the well-being of children and victims, or that of the school and Brothers of Christian and Instruction (their client/employers I believe? ) is first and foremost on their minds

Anyway, I have a few other things to take care of now – will post what I have shortly – hopefully by day’s end.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

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Does he have the best interests of victims in mind?

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Further to my blog of 19 November I Making the problem go away  regarding the latest on the St. Mary’s International School / Brothers of Christian Instruction sex abuse scandal, I started posting a comment on what was to be a little information regarding SMIS panel member Mr. Angus B. Llewellyn. Not much. A little.

As I posted I began ‘googling’ things which crossed my mind.

I have now decided to post this as a blog and will link it to the appropriate thread. I would like to keep the information on the panel members together and therefore easily assessable.

As I say, I have a little information. Not a lot. I will post what I have found and let you decide what it all means.

First, there are a number of articles related to Mr. Llewellyn’s years with the FBI. I decided not to link to any since none seemed relevant. We know that he is a 25-year veteran of the FBI.

We also known (from Mr. Kagei’s 15 November 2014 letter ) that Mr. Llewellyn “
has led 60+ compliance reviews in response to sexual abuse allegations involving children.“

What exactly does that mean?

Well, it seems that Llewellyn worked with an agency/organization which conducted audits for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Here we go…

In this 2004 article there is reference to an audit conducted by the Gavin Group of Boston.

The audit found that the Diocese of Kansas City–St Joseph was in full compliance with Charter for Protection of Children and Young People.

(The Charter/Dallas Charter is the procedures/guidelines set by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002 to address the burgeoning accounts of clerical sex abuse in the country. The Charter is applicable in the USA only. Annual audits for compliance have been mandated by the USCCB, however the bishops conference does not have the authority canonically to compel bishops to do comply. Several diocese do not comply and audits in several dioceses have therefore not been conducted. )

As you can see, Gavin Group of Boston conducted the audit. And, as you can see, Angus B. Llewellyn is identified as one of two former FBI agents who spent several days in the Diocese of Kansas City–St Joseph who “poured over hundreds of pages of diocesan documents relating to sexual abuse cases, and interviewed priests, response team and independent review board members and victims of clerical sexual abuse to judge how effective the diocese has been in implementing the 2002 U.S. bishops’ Charter.”

According to this 2004 article The Gavin Group was hired to conduct 191 of the 195 audits of Catholic dioceses in USA that year.   According to other sources the group is hired by the UCSSB.

The head of the agency, like Mr. Llewellyn and many if not all investigators with the agency are FBI veterans. The Gavin Group investigators are often referred to in articles as “independent investigators.|”

In the 2007 the Gavin Group audit found the Diocese of Kansas City–St Joseph in full compliance. The Bishop of the day was by then Robert W. Finn.

As most probably know, as of 2012 Bishop Finn became the highest ranking American Church official to enjoy the dubious distinction of being convicted for failing to report suspicions of child sex abuse.

I have hunted for the 2011 and 2012 audits of the Diocese of Kansas City–St Joseph to see if the diocese was found to be in full compliance in those years. I am sure the audits can be accessed online somewhere – I just reached a point that I decided I should, at least for now, give up.

I did however come across this blog from 2009 wherein serious reservations are expressed regarding the accuracy of the audit of the Diocese of Portland Maine

“…neither Mr. Gavin nor the bishops will admit that the financial success of Mr. Gavin’s company is dependent upon the goodwill of Catholic bishops across the country. If enough bishops become dissatisfied with the results of their child protection compliance audits, then Mr. Gavin will be shown the door …”

If you read the blog you will see that, according to the blog, despite the fact that a known clerical molester was living in a community “full of kids” and that “no one knows about the priest’s past history of abusing children” the bishop of the day, Richard Joseph Malone, received full marks for “ensuring the safety of children.”

In other words, the Diocese of Portland Maine was deemed to be fully compliant.

I could spend forever checking out compliance records alongside the cover-ups in various dioceses. I will leave that to others. I can tell you however that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was also deemed to be in full compliance, and that in that regard . questions have been raised as to how the Archdiocese has consistently been graded fully compliant with news from canon lawyer Jennifer Haselberger that auditors were not given access to certain clerical records

Indeed, many will recall that this same archdiocese has recently been rocked by allegations of cover-up

I will leave it at that.  Those who opt to research further please pass on your findings :)

How long Mr. Llewyllen worked with the group is unknown, but we do know that, according to the Kagei letter of 18 November, he conducted “60+” compliance reviews. Were all 60+ compliance reviews conducted by the Gavin Group for the UCSSB? I have no idea.

Do these 60+ compliance reviews put Mr. Llewellyn in good stead to serve on the SMIS panel and conduct an inquiry into whatever the inquiry is going to investigate? I truly have no idea.  Does he have the best interests of victims in mind?  That’s the question, is it not?
Enough for now,
Sylvia

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Making the problem go away

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The following letter is to be sent by Mr. Kagei  to  parents and alumni of St. Mary’s International School (SMIS) in Tokyo  to explain the panel which has been established and the ensuing steps to be taken regarding the recent accoutns of sex abuse at the school.  It was an attachment to an email sent to a victim.

The school is operated by the Canadian branch of the Brothers of Christian Instruction based in La Prairie, Quebec, Canada (just outside of Montreal Quebec)

I have interspersed the thoughts which came to mind as I read it.  I am sure I will have more.  My comments are the numbered  red text

______________________

St. Mary’s International School

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dear Members of the SMIS Community,

As promised, I am writing to provide an update on steps we are taking in response to allegations of sexual misconduct at St. Mary’s International School that recently came to light. The accusations have also been the subject of recent media reports. All of the allegations of abuse that we are aware of – including several we received in response to my letter of September 11, 2014 – date back several decades and involve individuals who are no longer members of the St. Mary’s community.

1.  “Allegations”

Brother Lawrence Lambert admitted that he sodomised a young boy. Brother Lawrence is a child molester, not an “alleged” child molester. That is a fact known to officials with the school and the Brothers of Christian Instruction:  it is not an allegation.

2. “Recently came to light”

Not all reports of sex abuse at SMIS came to light “recently.”  For example, the abuse Brother Lawrence perpetrated on at least one young boy was known by other brothers back in the 60s shortly after the child was so cruelly and savagely molested.

3. “Date back several decades”

Yes, it is true that the abuse of at least one of Brother Lawrence’s victims dates back “several decades” – and equally true that throughout those several decades there has been a cover-up.  Throughout those decades Brother Lawrence has been permitted unfettered access to young boys.  In fact, despite the fact that Brother Lawrence is a molester he was permitted to teach catechism in English at Seiko Gakuin, Shizuoka (catechism of all things!  what a sacrilege!!), be around boys at summer camps, and from the early 80s until  very recently serve on staff  at St. Mary’s Elementary school, Tokyo – most of those years in the prestigious and trustworthy position of Principal of the school

4. “involve individuals who are no longer members of the St. Mary’s community”

Are alumni not considered part of “St. Mary’s community”?  I truly don’t know.  Those who know please help me out here.

In response to the allegations, our first step is to appoint a panel of experts to conduct an inquiry into the reported incidents. I am pleased to inform you that the panel is now in place and has already begun work. Its members are:

•  Ms. Keiko Ohara, a Japanese attorney, a graduate of Harvard Law School who is licensed in New
York and has more than 25 years of experience in cross-border and international matters.
•  Mr. Jack Byrd, an investigator with more than 20 years’ experience in a broad range of complex cross-border crimes including allegations of sexual misconduct
•  Dr. Harold J. Bursztajn, a graduate of Harvard Medical School and Princeton University and a forensic psychiatrist with a long-standing special interest in the prevention of sexual harassment and abuse in educational institutions. Dr. Bursztajn consults regularly with health and law professionals regarding victim witness interview methods and analyses.
•  Mr. Angus B. Llewellyn, an investigator and a 25-year veteran of the FBI who has led 60+ compliance reviews in response to sexual abuse allegations involving children.

5.  Mr. Jack Byrd

Is the Jack Byrd in this link the the same Jack Byrd on the panel? The same Jack Byrd who is a partner in 360 Risk Management Group Ltd. who stated stated in the interview:  “What clients are really interested in is making a problem go away after they have encountered it. Once the crisis hits, they call us”? I am quite certain that it is.  Look further down the Kagei letter.  Note the channels for reporting – mailing address:  “360 Risk Management Group…”

Bear that quote in mind both now and in the future:  “What clients are really interested in is making a problem go away after they have encountered it. Once the crisis hits, they call us”

6.  “our first step”

“Our”?  

Did Mr. Mr. Kagei, other school officials and one or more of the Brothers of Christian Instruction select the “experts?

7.  “the panel is now in place and has already begun work.”

Why the silence about his great initiative  until now? Why were parents, victims and alumnus not told that “experts” had been selected and had already commenced their work?  Why the secrecy?

8. If anyone can tell us any more about the child sex abuse expertise of any of these above “experts” please do.  I will start searching as soon as I am finished here. 

We are very grateful that these distinguished experts have agreed to conduct an independent inquiry and are confident that, given their outstanding credentials, we will receive an unbiased report. In the spirit of transparency, we will share that report with our community while continuing to do our best to satisfy the requests of those who desire privacy in the understandably painful process of coming forward. However, it’s important for everyone to understand that this will take time and the cooperation of our community. We, therefore, ask for your patience and cooperation to allow this work to be completed in a methodical and meaningful manner.

9. “Independent inquiry”

i.  How can the inquiry be “independent” if these “distinguished experts” were hand-picked by Mr. Kagei, school officials and one or more of the Brothers? Where is the independence? 

ii.  Who is funding this inquiry?

 iii. To whom are the “distinguished experts” accountable?

iv. Who is paying the salary of the “distinguished experts”?

10.   “Unbiased report”

If indeed the “experts” were, as it seems, hand-picked by those with a vested interest in sparing the schools reputation, and if those same “experts” and the inquiry are paid for by the same, how can we anticipate an unbiased report?

11 . “Transparency”

i. Why is the inquiry being conducted behind closed doors? Why is the inquiry not open to the public? Why is there no thought of live-streaming the proceedings to ensure that alumnus and parents around the world can follow the proceedings and hear the testimony of victims with their own ears, rather than read a filtered version?

ii. Who is heading the inquiry? Who is the chair? And by whom and how was this individual chosen? Why no mention of any of this?  Someone has to be in charge, but – no name given.

iii.   Will victims and those with sex abuse allegations and first-hand knowledge of such abuse be interviewed in person?

iv  . Will molesters and “alleged” molesters be interviewed in person?

v.  What is the mandate of the inquiry? Why no mention of the mandate/terms of reference?  And, of course, who crafted the mandate?

This panel and inquiry are separate and independent from SMIS. Therefore, if you have information to share with the panel, I encourage you to contact them directly. Those who report will be given an opportunity to indicate what degree of confidentiality they wish maintained during the inquiry. The panel has set up the following channels for reporting:

12. “This panel and inquiry are separate and independent from SMIS”

How pray tell  can the panel or inquiry possibly be separate and independent from SMIS?.

Email: panel@kamlaw.com

Mailing address:
360 Risk Management Group
Toranomon 40MT Bldg. 7th Floor
5-13-1 Toranomon Minato-ku
Tokyo, Japan 105-0001

13.  See #7 above.  This is the address for panel/inquiry memeber Jack Byrd, the Mr. Byrd who said:   “What clients are really interested in is making a problem go away after they have encountered it. Once the crisis hits, they call us”?

Meanwhile, our utmost priority at the school continues to be the safety of our students. We are taking every step to ensure that we provide all students enrolled at SMIS with a safe and sound environment conducive to academic achievement and personal growth.

14. “our utmost priority at the school continues to be the safety of our students”

If this is fact, why then was that concern absent for the decades Brother Lawrence, a known molester, was allowed to teach and interact freely with the young boys at the school and elsewhere?

Soon, we will be sending information to our faculty, staff and parents about training sessions to be conducted by David Wolowitz, an attorney with the McLane Law Firm in the United States. Mr.
Wolowitz has extensive experience advising independent schools and regularly trains school administrators, faculty and staff on safe practices to protect students in their care, how to operate safely, how to recognize and address signs of inappropriate behavior and how to respond to allegations of misconduct. We look forward to his visit, when he will hold training sessions for our faculty and staff, as well as parents.

15. “an attorney”

Why a lawyer? Why in the name of all that’s good and holy has SMIS opted to bring in a lawyer to advise and teach about safe practices? 

A lawyer?!!  There is no one more qualified than lawyer to teach teachers about “safe practises” and operating safely, and recognizing and addressing “signs of inappropriate behaviour ” and how to respond to allegations of misconduct.”

I am floored.  A lawyer!  I’m not for a moment thinking that a lawyer can not have knowlege of such things, but this really is bizarre.  I will have too look up Mr. Wolowitz’ credentials and background to see if I can make sense of this.  Right now it makes no sense at all.

A lawyer?!!!

Once again, I want to thank all of you for your patience during this difficult time. We are especially grateful to those who have expressed your support and ask that you continue to pray for those who have reported abuse. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about this matter.

16.  “pray for those who have reported abuse”

Would it not be more appropriate to ask that all pray for those  who were sexually abused while attending at SMIS? 

Continue reading

Posted in Accused or charged, Bishops, Brothers of Christian Instruction, Canada, Scandal | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Convicted clerical fraudster out on “good behaviour”

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After serving 2/3 of his one year sentence convicted clerical fraudster Father Joseph LeClair was released from jail on good behaviour nine days ago, – nine days before his scheduled 18 November 2014 release:

18 November 2014:  “Father Joe LeClair released from jail for good behaviour” & related article

LeClair was released nine days earlier than his scheduled release date of 18 November 2014.  I get the impression that part of the nine days was committed to being assessed at Southdown or by Southdown staff (“LeClair was also granted a temporary absence so that he could attend an assessment prior to further treatment at the same institution he went to before he was sentenced to a year in jail on March 1″ – that institution was Southdown.)

Where Father LeClair is now and whether or not he will return to serve as a priest in the Ottawa Archdiocese is unknown.  What is known is that a spokesperson for the archdiocese has indicated that it stands behind its statement of 20 January of this year (“Aware of his many talents and of his 25 years of effective pastoral ministry, we will work with Fr. LeClair in his desire to return to the exercise of his priestly ministry.”)

Father LeClair should be started on his one year probation now.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

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No trial date yet

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The next courtdate for Father Linus Bastien, a priest with the Diocese of London, Ontario facing multiple charges related to sex abuse of young boys, is:

17 December 2014: 09:30 am, pretrial hearing in conference room
NOT open to public), Windsor Superior Court of Justice (245 Windsor Avenue)

As I said elsewhere, please note that the upcoming courtdate is NOT open to the public.  This will be more preparation for trial, with lawyers discussing or arguing any number of things, such as which witnesses will be called to testify, what documents and testimony can be entered into evidence and/or how many days to book for trial.

It could also entail a bit of plea bargaining – possibly deal-making on a guilty plea to some or all of the charges.  I am not for a moment saying that is what will happen, but, the reality is that it could.  (The last I knew – quite some time ago – was that Father Bastien was facing a total of 22 charges from seven complainants.  )

There is no trial date set as yet.

The first set of these charges against the priest were laid October 2011.  Further charges were laid January 2012.    To my knowledge the last of the charges were laid November 2012.  The charges relate to allegations of sex abuse of boys in the ’70s and 80s.

This has been a long process for all complainants, and it’s not over!

Please keep the complainants – and their families – in your prayers.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

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Mark calendars

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Mark your calendars…

The next court date for Father Robyn Gwyn is:

04 December 2014: 09:00 am, courtroom #3, “to be spoken to,” Kingston Ontario courthouse (279 Wellington St.)

I think he may be answering both to the original three charges plus the nine new charges laid against him on 05 November 2014, – if that’s the case he should be travelling from wherever he’s staying in Quebec to make an appearance and answer to the charges in court.

I encourage others with allegations against this priest to contact police.  The contact information is as follows:

“Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Melanie Jeffries at 613-549-4660, ext. 6185 or email mjeffries@kpf.ca.”

Please keep the complainants in your prayers.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

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Has anyone heard?

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Father Robyn Gwyn had a courtdate at the Kingston, Ontario courthouse this morning (Thursday, 13 November 2014). Has anyone heard any news of what happened or if he even appeared?

There may be something in the local media in the morning.  Regardless I will check tomorrow to get his next courtdate.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

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Priest faces 12 charges

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More charges today for Kingston Archdiocese’s Father Robyn Gwyn:

05 November 2015:  Former Kingston priest facing more sex assault charges

Gwyn now faces a total of 12 charges dating from the late ’80s to 2000 (Gwyn was ordained 1988).  I don’t know how many complainants there are, but it seems there are now at least two.

From the CKWS coverage:

Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Melanie Jeffries at 613-549-4660, ext. 6185 or email mjeffries@kpf.ca.”

I commend those who have gone to police, and encourage anyone with allegations or information to make that call.

As an aside, I can’t help but wonder what happened in 2004 that prompted Father Gwyn’s premature retirement and Kingston’s then Archbishop Anthony Meagher’s decision to put the priest on “on indefinite leave from active ministry”?

Hopefully in due course we will find out.

For now, Father Gwynn’s next court date is:

13 November 2014:  09:00 am, courtroom #1, Kingston Ontario courthouse (279 Wellington St.)

Please keep the complainants in your prayers, and let’s pray that others with allegations against Father Gwyn find the courage to come forward.

*****

Mark your calendars….

Ottawa Archdiocese’s Father Jacques Faucher’s next court date is:

Friday, 07 November 2014:  1:30 pm, courtroom #1, judge to render decision re evidence at preliminary hearing, Ottawa Ontario courthouse (161 Elgin St.)

My understanding is that this will be when a decision is rendered as to whether or not it is deemed there was sufficient evidence presented at the preliminary hearing to go to trial.  A judge can rule that all charges go to trial, or that only some of the charges proceed, or that no charges go to trial.

Let’s pray that justice is done here.

I encourage those who are free to do so to attend.

Please, as always. keep the complainants in your prayers.

Enough for now.

Sylvia

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Mark calendars

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Father Robyn Gwyn, a retired priest from the Archdiocese of Kingston, Ontario who has been lining in Berwick, Nova Scotia for some years, has a courtdate tomorrow (05 November ’14) at the Ontario Court of Justice in Kingston, Ontario.

05 November 2014:  09:30 am, pre-trial and “to be spoken to”, courtroom #3, Kingston Ontario courthouse (279 Wellington St.)

The pre-trial will be behind closed doors and NOT open to the public, but the public can be in the courtroom for the “to be spoken to” component.

I encourage those who can do so to attend so we can perhaps find out what’s happening.

Please, as always, keep the complainant in your prayers.  And please pass on any and all news of the outcome.

*****

The judge will rule on Friday afternoon whether or not the charges against Father Jacques Faucher will go to trial.

07 November 2014:  2 pm, 1:30 pm, judge to render decision re evidence at preliminary hearing, Ottawa Ontario courthouse (161 Elgin St.)

The judge can decide that some but not all charges are to proceed to trial, or that all charges proceed to trial, or that none of the charges proceed to trial.

Mark your calendars.  If you are free to attend please do so to support the complainants.

And, yes, please keep the complainants in your prayers.

*****

And yet another adjournment  yesterday for Father Charles Picot.  As I said elsewhere, I think we all anticipated as much, but hoped that something of significance would happen to either move this on to trial or a guilty plea.

I have posted two articles, the first is a  google translation of the accompanying French text.  (I know:  the google translations are a bit of a nightmare, but if we grit our teeth we can usually plod though and pick up up a fair bit of information.)

03 November 2014: “The case of former priest Picot adjourned again” & original French text

03 November 2014: Case of Former Bathurst-Area Priest Facing Sex Charges Adjourned Again

So, that’s it now until 05 January 2015.  Hopefully the new year will see movement on the case.  Perhaps with luck Father Picot will actually show up to answer to the charges?

I will try to sort out this week how many charges and how many complainants there are.  If anyone knows for certain please let me know.

Please keep the complainants in your prayers.

*****

When it comes to the keyboard the problems with right hand and arm continue.  There is great progress everywhere but here :(  This morning I sat down to try again – I was quite excited to be able to get my hand over the mouse – but then absolute sheer agony!  So, I am back to picking away with left hand.  One of these days I’ll be able to carry on as ‘noirmal’

Enough for now,

Sylvia

Posted in Accused or charged, Canada, Clerical sexual predators, Scandal | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment