Rife with secrecy and conflict of interest

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An SMIS bombshell…

The “independent” inquiry into the sex abuse scandal at St. Mary’s International School in Tokyo truly is a ruse…

Listen to this…

The lead on the panel heading up the inquiry is a lawyer, Keiko Ohara.

Yes, we knew that.  In fact, we knew from SMIS headmaster Mr. Kagei’s first letter regarding the inquiry that he was then  in the process of picking a panel, and later learned that Ms. Ohara was one of the hand-picked members.

And, yes, we knew from Mr. Kagei’s third letter that not only is Ms. Ohara a panel member, she is in fact heading the panel.  And we knew that not only is Ms. Ohara heading the panel, she is also, according to the SMIS Headmaster, the one who selected the other members of the panel.

What we did not at the time is this…

Ms. Ohara was – and perhaps still is? – a lawyer for the school.

Really!   I am serious.

The news comes from none other than Conrad Lord , a Montreal-based French-Canadian lawyer who has been representing some, if not all, of the Brothers of Christian Instruction currently involved in the SMIS scandal.  Here it is.   In response to an  email query asking specifically who represents the school,  lawyer Conrad Lord replied (14 February 2014) as  follows:

—– Original Message —–
From: Me Conrad Lord avocat
Sent: 02/14/14 05:07 AM
To: [deleted]
Subject: Re: lawyer

Mrs Ohara represents the school.

Envoyé de mon iPhone
Me Conrad Lord
Avocat
Bur. 514-xxx-xxxx
Cel. 514-xxx-xxxx

Mrs. Ohara is, yes,  indeed, is, Ms. Keiko Ohara, the Tokyo-based lawyer who, as we know,  is heading the panel and inquiry.

To that end, note that in February 2014 Lord identified Ohara as the lawyer who “represents the school,” and note that a matter of months later, Mr. Kagie-  and whomever of the brothers at SMIS assisted him?  –   hand-picked Ohara for their panel, and, as we now know, the head their “inquiry.”

Think about it. Just think about that for a moment.

How often, for example, has Ms. Ohara used here legal skills to protect the assets and/0r defend the reputation and ‘best interests’ of SMIS? I have no idea. I do however know that the very fact that she has been identified as a lawyer who “represents the school” puts an end to the myth that this inquiry is in any way shape or form “independent.”

This is troubling beyond belief. Such a terrible betrayal and rev-victimization of victims. It’s bad enough that this whole inquiry has been shrouded in secrecy from the get go, and that panel member Jack Byrd has stated that clients call his firm once a crisis hits “to make the problem go away.” Now this.

Can you believe it? An SMIS lawyer is heading up the “inquiry”! In other words, a lawyer previously paid by the school to minimize or negate allegations of sex abuse and/or cover-up is now being paid to expose the same?

And Mr. Kagei repeatedly assures one and all that this inquiry is independent?!

Perhaps time to refresh our memories a little. . The following are quotes from the three Kagei letters addressing the panel and inquiry, the first dated 04 October 2014, the second dated 18 November 2014, and the third and more recent 18 March 2015 Please read, bearing in mind that Mr. Ohara the news:

04 October 2014

(1) “ I am in the process of identifying a panel to conduct an inquiry into reported incidents

That sounds like Mr. Kagei is making all the decisions, no?

18 November 2014 letter

(1) “…our first step is to appoint a panel of experts to conduct an inquiry into the reported incidents.”

As I have said elsewhere before, the operative word here is “our.” The letter is on SMIS letterhead.

(2) “I am pleased to inform you that the panel is now in place and has already begun work.”

About six weeks after he mentioned that he was in the process of “identifying” the panel has been appointed and begun its work.

Ms. Ohara is not identified as head of the panel.

(3) “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.”

Can you believe it? How pray tell can Ms. Ohara conduct an independent inquiry and produce an unbiased report?

(4) “In the spirit of transparency…

What transparency? Why, for example, not a boo regarding Ms. Ohara’s ties to SMIS?

(5) “This panel and inquiry are separate and independent from SMIS.”

That’s a lark. Is Mr. Kagei trying to pull our collective legs?

(6) “The panel has set up the following channels for reporting:

“Email: panel@kamlaw.com

I mentioned in another blog that kamlaw.com is the url for Ohara’s lawfirm Kamiyacho International Law Office. At that time when one clicked on panel@kamlaw.com the email directs to ohara@kamlaw.com, Ms. Ohara’s email. (plus, hover the mouse over panel@kamlaw.com and up comes “mail to: ohara@kamlaw.com)

In other words, anyone contacting the panel via email is contacting Ms. Ohara, The only other mode of contact provided is via snail mail, The snail mail address is that of the company of Mr Jack ”make the problem go away” Byrd.

This means that naïve. trusting and unwitting victims and/or those with sensitive and potentially damning information regarding the goings on at the school, are to contact either (a) a lawyer who only months ago was representing the school, or (b) a panel member retained/appointed mid SMIS crisis to, without doubt as he has said regarding other clients, “make the problem go away.”

18 March 2015

(1) “The panel, selected and led by Ms. Keiko Ohara...”

This is the first time Mr. Kagei let it be known – at least publicly – that Ms. Ohara is not only a member of the panel, but is in fact heading the panel.

Why so long? Why a secret until now?

It is also the first time he advised that it was Ms Ohara who selected the panel members. Until now the impression was conveyed that it was Kagei alone, or Mr. Kagei with others from SMIS. Now we learn that, according Mr. Kahgei, it wasn’t he, and it wasn’t any of the Brothers, it was Ms. Ohara who hand-picked the panel!

The logical extension of that news is of course that it was Ms. Ohara who retained/appointed Mr. Jack ”make the problem go away” Byrd?

In light of the bombshell news, there’s small comfort in that,.

Anyway, as it stands now, and if we are to believe all that we are told, we are looking at a scenario where the SMIS Headmaster and/or the Brothers hand-picked the school’s lawyer to select and head the panel and inquiry

(2) “The mission of the panel is to conduct a thorough and independent inquiry into what happened...”

?????

Seriously?

How pray tell can this panel ever conduct an “independent” inquiry?

It’s impossible. Impossible.

The is whole thing is rife with secrecy and conflict of interest.

And, yes, when I first became aware this matter I did attempt to clarify the matter with Ms. Ohara.  No response.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

Posted in Accused or charged, Brothers of Christian Instruction, Canada, Circling the wagons, Non clerical RC sexual predators, Scandal | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Two articles

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Two articles of interest were posted yesterday evening:

(1)  16 August 2015:  Australian diplomat’s son in Tokyo St Mary’s child sexual abuse story

Good news:  The Brothers of Christian Instruction/St. Mary’s International School sex scandal and cover-up has hit the news in Australia!

The article includes information regarding Mrs. Bernstein’s account of what transpired after she and her husband learned that their son Jacob had been sexually abused at SMIS, including the raucous meeting at the embassy, the decision by the Australian Ambassador not to call police, and the ‘threat’ to Gordon Jacobs that he was not to mention this again if he wanted a career.

And, good news, Jacob Bernstein has been granted a hearing with the Australian Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse.  I do believe the role played by diplomats in this dirty mess and cover-up warrant investigation.  One can only wonder what deals, if any, were made behind closed doors to keep the scandal under wraps.

I mentioned some time ago that I have more information to post on the SMIS scandal, and indeed I do.  I will start at that later today.

(2) 07 August 2015:  “Updated: Government does not agree with release on parole of ‘priest’ guilty of sexual abuse” & related article

As you see, Godwin Scerri, child molester and now defrocked former priest with the Missionary Society of St. Paul who served in Canada (London Diocese) from 1981 to 1992, is out on parole in his native Malta.  Scerri served only three years of a five year sentence.

Scerri, some may recall,  fled Canada in 1993 when charges were laid in relation to allegations of sex abuse of a then 12 year-old-boy at Pelee Island and Emeryville (Diocese of London, Ontario):  The the abuse started in 1983 and continued  to 1987.  According to the Windsor Star, as recently as August 2011 the Ontario Provincial Police was anxious to to have Scerri extradited to Canada to answer to charges of sexual assault and gross indecency.

Was the extradition process ever started?  I don’t know.  I would hope so.

Back then I speculated that if the  process were started and Scerri happened to be in a Maltese jail  when it was completed an agreement could have been made to have him put on a  plane bound for Canada upon his release.  That, alas and obviously, did not happen.

A reminder here that tThe Canadian complainant went to police and charges were laid in 1993. Yes, 1993.

That’s 22 long and agonizing years ago!

Surely now that Scerii is ‘free’ the OPP – and of course the Canadian government –  will  ensure that Scerri is extradited, Scerri can meet his accuser face to face,  and justice can be done?

(Extradition is not, as we have learned in the past, a swift process.  Remember the debacle with now defrocked Oblate Eric Dejaeger?  Dejaeger, like Scerri, fled to his native land to elude justice.  In 1995, packed up and was off to Belgium.  A warrant was issued for his arrest, but, that was the end of it.  Then, in early 2011,  Dejager was tracked down and his whereabouts publicized.  The  extradition process presumably began.  In that instance thankfully – due to a sharp investigative journalist – it was discovered that Dejaeger had lost his Belgian citizenship and in January 2012 he was deported, – booted from his native land!  I honest to goodness fear that had he not been deported we here in Canada would still be fighting to get him extradited!)

Enough for now,

Sylvia

Posted in Accused or charged, Brothers of Christian Instruction, Clerical sexual predators | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

News

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Father Kenneth Greer , a priest with the Archdiocese of Regina, Saskatchewan who received an 18 month conditional sentence in 1999 after pleading guilty to charges related to the sexual abuse of five boys, died 29 July 2015.  He has gone to meet his Maker.

*****

Court updates

(1)  Nathan Labatt

Nathan Labatt, a former youth volunteer with the Archdiocese of Regina, Saskatchewan Youth Minister, volunteer with the Ukrainian Catholic Church and former Boy Scout leader, had a courtdate 10 August 2015. The case has been adjourned yet again.

10 August 2015:  Labatt Adjourns Matters Again

Labatt’s next court date is:

24 August 2015:  10 am,  Humboldt courthouse, Humboldt, Sask (805 8th Avenue)

 (2)  Father Charles Picot

A trial date has been set!  The twice convicted once acquitted clerical molester is heading to trial on his fourth set of charges (laid November 2013):

11 August 2015:  Trial for Former Bathurst Priest Set for January

The following statement by one of the victim’s was released to the media on 10 August 2015:

As victims, while preparing for yet another court appearance this morning regarding the proceedings taking place in order to finally bring Charles Picot to trial, our level of optimism was very low. Mr. Picot has failed to be present to address the court and submit a plea on six different occasions in the past. Also he has been allowed, due to illness, to request through his lawyer delays of trial. We hope that adequate medical reports are being provided to the courts to validate this request. However, we have not been provided any supporting documents.

As one of the victims, I need to speak out about this. I am very upset and angry at how this situation can be allowed to drag on for years without the courts stepping in to force a conclusion. As far as I know, it is unheard of for a criminal convicted to two jail sentences for sex related charges to have so much power to delay or even possibly cancel court proceedings because of health issues.

The current charges against Mr. Picot stem from incidents dating to the early 1980’s. Yes, it’s been a long time and, disturbingly, we’ve been presented with the argument that “we have waited so long already what does a few more months matter”. This argument was used in court a couple of years ago and yet we are still waiting. This adds to the burden we carry as victims. Many days I have been unable to leave my home to work or socialize because of the emotional and psychological scars left by the actions of this monster. In 2010, after seeing the cases of other victims of his conclude successfully with convictions, I found the courage to come forth with my charges.

In the early 1980’s, as I was growing up, Charles Picot was our Parish Priest. He befriended me and others and gained our trust. However, over a period of time, his actions turned to abuse and the taking of our innocence. In our childish eyes he was our Lord Jesus Christ on Earth, we were taught this, as our parents and church instilled this religious belief in us. We were so confused, as children and victims, because we couldn’t understand why a man of Jesus would hurt us this way. He claimed that this was our secret and that we couldn’t tell anyone, no one needed to know.

It took me so long to come out and report him because of the psychological effects I suffer from due to his actions. I have been suffering from post-traumatic stress since I was fifteen years old. The abuse I suffered from the age of twelve to fifteen still has repercussions even now, the effects present themselves in my dreams when I sleep, my daily thoughts, panic, depression and post-traumatic stress. The pain and guilt I have been dealing with has prevented me from being able to act sooner in order to stop him from abusing others but it will no longer prevent me from working towards him being held responsible for his actions.

We need our day in court so that this criminal can be put back where he belongs, behind bars. He has to be held responsible and accountable for what he has done to us. We need our day in court to help his victims heal from the abuse he committed in the Mont Carmel Parish of East Bathurst during the 1980’s.

Well done! but, how terribly terribly sad that a victim has to make such a plea.

Whether or not the statement had a direct impact on the proceedings I have no idea, but I have been told that the judge said that this case is taking far too long and ordered it to trial.  The trial date is:

26-28 January 2015:   TRIAL,  Bathurst courthouse (254 St. Patrick St.), Bathurst,  New Brunswick

Please keep the many victims of Father Picot in your prayers.

(3)  Father Rocky Grimard omi

Believe it or not, a trial date has has been set for Canadian Oblate priest Father Rocky Grimard.  Father Grimard was charged with indecent exposure in Texas in May of this year.

We just aren’t accustomed to seeing a case proceed to trial so quickly, are we?

Anyway, here is the information which I have:

  16 November 2015:  9 am, TRIAL, County Court 8, Bexar, Texas

Sorry, but I was unable to find out if the trial will last more than one day.

(4)  Father John E Sullivan

There is still nothing of any substance happening with the charges filed in 2012 (both June and October)  against previously convicted convicted clerical molester Father John Sullivan (Diocese of Sault Ste Marie):  his next court date is:

08 September  2015: 09:30 am, “to be spoken to,”  courtroom #101, North Bay, Ontario court house (360 Plouffe Street);

Please keep his many victims and the complainants in your prayers as this case crawls its way through the system.

 Enough for now,

Sylvia

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Updates

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Previously convicted child molester Father John Sullivan was scheduled for a court date today in North Bay, Ontario

21 July  2015:   09:30 am, “to be spoken to,”  courtroom #101, North Bay, Ontario court house (360 Plouffe Street)

Some of these charges (gross indecency) were laid in June 2012, and others (gross indecency and buggery) in the Fall of 2012.

Sullivan, a priest with the Diocese of Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, now lives in Montreal, Quebec.

If anyone hears news of the outcome of today’s court date please pass it along.

Please keep the many victims and complainants in your prayers.

*****

The court date of another previously convicted child molester  Father Charles Picot was adjourned yesterday:

20 July 2015:  Former Priest to Have Trial Date Set in August

Father Picot is a priest with the Diocese of Bathurst, New Brunswick now living in Montreal. (Yes, like Father Sullivan he lives in Montreal, and, yes, like Father Sullivan, he is a convicted child molester who is still a Roman Catholic priest!)

Father Picot’s next court date is:

10 August 2015:  to set trial date, Bathurst courthouse, Bathurst, New Brunswick

Please keep the many victims and complainants in your prayers.

*****

On 13 July 2015 Father Ronald Leger csv, Viatorian priest, former student and teacher at Cornwall, Ontario’s Classical College, entered a guilty plea in Winnipeg, Manitoba to charges related to the sexual abuse of three boys.  The sex abuse of the boys dates to the 1980s and mid 2000s.

16 July 2015:  “Father Ronald Léger defrocked after sex assault plea” & related article

15 July 2015:  “Priest admits to rubbing boys’ genitals” & related article

14 July 2015   Archdiocese of Saint Boniface Press Release re Father R Leger guilty plea

As I noted, Father Leger has been stripped of his priestly faculties in the Archdiocese of Saint Boniface, Manitoba.  That means only that he can not do such things as say Mass or hear confessions.  It does not mean that he has been defrocked.

Some of you may recall that while teaching at the Cornwall Classical College Leger was a good friend of Father Paul Lapierre.  Lapierre has since been charged and convicted for the sex abuse of Claude Marleau.

And, look here.  In the 1967 Cornwall Classical College yearbook Father Leger’s picture is on the same page as that of another convicted Viatorian molester, Father Paul Desilets.

I can’t help but wonder what Cornwall lawyer and Church canon Lawyer Jacques Leduc, and Denis Vailancourt,  a priest and canon lawyer in the Alexandria-Cornwall diocese, think of the news?  Both were students at the college in 1967.

Anyway, it seems that Father Leger departed Cornwall when the college closed its doors in 1968.  He has been serving in Manitoba since 1971 – most if not all of those years in the Archdiocese of  St. Boniface, Manitoba. During his years in Manitoba Father Leger founded two teen drop-in centres in Winnipeg and adopted two boys from Guyana.

According to media reports Leger will return to court for sentencing next year.  According to the courthouse the priest’s next court date is

30 September 2015:  1 pm, courtroom #301, Winnipeg Provincial courthouse (408 York Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba )

I’m not sure if the 30 September date is a sentencing hearing?  I think it may well be?  No matter, there definitely is an upcoming court date for Leger on 30 September.

Meanwhile Father Leger is presumably off in a “therapeutic setting” preparing for, what his lawyer Saul Simmonds referred to a “ultimately a significant incarceratory period.”

We shall see…

Please keep the victims in your prayers.  And, let me take this opportunity to commend and thank all three for going to police: it is thanks to your courage that we can now refer to Father Leger as what he is, a wolf in sheep’s clothing/ a child molester.

*****

As I noted elsewhere, Father Joe LeClair is now Associate Pastor at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Guelph, Ontario:

July 2015: Father Joe LeClair Associate Pastor Saint Joseph Guelph screenshot 17 July 2015 (Hamilton Diocese – Bishop Doug Crosby omi)

I’m not sure  when Father LeClair left Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity in the Archdiocese of Moncton, New Brunswick. He was out of jail in Ontario November 2014, and was assisting Father Phil Miulligan at Blessed Elizabeth in New Brunswick in January 2015, and was gone from Blessed Elizabeth by at least  May 2015, and now he’s in Guelph.

Guelph is in the Diocese of Hamilton, Ontario.  The bishop who took Father LeClair in and allowed him to serve in the diocese is an Oblate,  Bishop Doug Crosby.

*****

And speaking of Oblates,  Canadian Oblate Father Rocky Grimard‘s next court date in Texas is:

10 August 2015: Pre-Trial Conference, Bexar County Texas, courthouse

Enough for now,

Sylvia

 

 

 

Posted in Accused or charged, Canada, Clerical sexual predators, Cornwall, Scandal | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Viatorian priest court date

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Viatorian priest Father Ronald Lger has a court-date tomorrow in Winnipeg, Manitoba:

13 July 2015:  10 am, courtroom #303, Winnipeg Provincial courthouse (408 York Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba )

Father Leger, native of the Cornwall, Ontario area and who both attended and taught at the Cornwall Classical College and later founded a teen drop-in centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, was  charged January 2015 with three counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual interference.  Two of the charges date to the 1980s and two date to late 2002 to late 2004.

Please pass on news or links of the outcome, and, as always, please keep the complainants in your prayers.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

Posted in Accused or charged, Canada, Cornwall, Scandal | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Home

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We’re home safe and sound.  Wer sailed through the the border this morning – had been concerned that there might be huge lineups, but not at all.  When we approached Toronto we opted to move onto the paid Expressway – the Pan Am Games are on and we thought the few dollars to whip through those 40 or so miles on the expressway were well worthwhile, and indeed they were.

A good trip.  Wonderful to see and spend time with family – so very hard to say goodbye, but good to be home :)

The car is unpacked.  Tomorrow will be a little more sporting things out and putting them away for the next run, and,  weather permitting, finally getting my poor straggly and ever so thirsty bedding plants planted :)

Sylvia

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Homeward bound

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And now a belated Indepnedence Day to all Americans!  My goodness but do you people celebrate July 4th in style.  I have never seen so many fireworks in my life!  We drove from one side of the city to the other around 11 pm and everywhere we looked there were fireworks shooting into the air.  Beautiful.  Parties and fireworks at every turn.

So, this morning it was up early and homeward bound.  Today was a long drive  to Port Huron.  Tomorrow on the road again and home in the evening.  We are hoping things will be quiet at the border :)

Enough for now,

Sylvia

 

Posted in Clerical sexual predators | 1 Comment

Belated

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A belated Happy Canada Day to everyone!

Our days are busy from dawn to dusk – a fun Canada Day with all children in the neighbourhood sporting Canadiana washabale tatoos :)

Once again I am unable to send emails.  I don’t know what happens when we hit Nebraska but I am always unable to send or respond to emails while here.  Receiving is no problem – just can not send.  If you have sent an email and are awaiting a reply there will be nothing until my return to Canada next week.

Enough for now

Sylvia

Posted in Clerical sexual predators | 2 Comments

Disgusting news

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We are in Nebraska – enjoying family since arrival :)  this has been my first opportunity to get online for a few minutes.  We have all sorts of tournaments on the go – keeping us on our toes and lots of fun.

*****

Canadian Oblate priest Father Rocky Grimard had a court date scheduled in Bexar County Texas today (Monday, 29 June 2015)  If anyone sees  any word of the outcome please pass it along.  I won`t be able to check for the next courtdate until next week.

*****

Disgusting news via this external link toan article regarding the inquiry the in N. Ireland

Paedo priest Brendan Smyth paid off victim with mass card money

Enough for now,

Sylvia

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The latest

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On the road for just shy of 17 hours today.  The border crossing at Sarnia Ontario was busy, and traffic around Chicago heavy, but  the first and longest  leg of the trip is behind us and we are now looking forward to seeing family tomorrow evening :)

*****

Three external links to the latest news regarding allegations that Cardinal George Pell overheard and had failed to act upon a victim`s plea for help :

Pell pulls out passport to disprove claims

Passport proves Cardinal George Pell’s point

Passport proves Pell’s point

Enough for  now

Sylvia

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