He’s a deacon!

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First, some court updates:

(1)  Father Peter Groulx

Father Groulx’ next courtdate is:

1o February 2015 :  09:30 am, “to set a date,”    Thunder Bay, Ontario courthouse (125 Brodie Street North. Thunder Bay, Ontario)

There is no warrant out for Father Groulx’ arrest so he must have made it to court for his courtdate of 16 December 2014?    Does anyone know?

Now, an interesting aside here…

Back in 1992 Father Pweter Groulx was pastor at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Dryden, Ontario.  You will never guess not only who was a deacon back then, but who was a deacon at St. Joseph’s back then?  Justice Terence Platana.

It was Justice Platana who let Cornwall lawyer and Church canon lawyer Jacques Leduc “walk” after his first stay was appealed and he was ordered back to trial.  Platana was brought in from Thundner Bay presumably to ensure there was no conflict of interest as was the case with Justice Colin McKinnon  the first time around.

And now we find out the powers that be brought in a judge who is a deacon in the Roman Catholic Church!!! That’s as close to putting a priest on the bench as it gets. I was floored when I hear the news.

I have no idea what friendship, if any, exists between Platana and Groulx – but suffice here to say that I trust Justice Platana has nothing to do whatsoever with hearing of these charges.

I did a bit of searching on Terence Platana the deacon – in one short search I found record of the judge acting as a deacon in the Roman Catholic Church as recently as 2011.  Justice Platana’s wife Madeline is active both in the Diocese of Thunder Bay and at the parish level.

I will pull this information together, take a closer look at it all,  and then in the New Year add it to Justice Platana’s.

(2)  Father Albert Laisnez

After his preliminary hearing of 11 December 2014, Fathger Laisnez was committed to stand trial in Alberta’s Court of Queen’s Bench (like Ontario Superior Court of Justice).

Father Laisnex’ next court date is:

23 January 2015: for arraignment” in  (Edmonton? ) Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench

As I said elsewhere, it wasn’t until after I had made the call that I realized the Court of Queen’s Bench doesn’t sit in Sherwood Park, Alberta.  I think therefore that this first appearance in Court of Queen’s Bench for arraignment will be in the Edmonton, Alberta courthouse.  I will check on this after Christmas.

Mark your calendar, and please keep the complainant in your prayers.

(3)   Father Robyn Gwynn

Father Gwyn’s next courtdate is:

08 January 2015:  09:30 am. “to be spoken to,” Kingston Ontario courthouse (279 Wellington St.)

As always, keep the complainants in your prayers.

(4)  Father Yvon Arsenault

Father Yvon Arsenault’s next courtdate is:

08 January 2015:  09:30 am, Preliminary Inquiry/hearing, Moncton Courthouse Moncton NB (45 Assumption Blvd

This preliminary hearing seems to be having trouble getting off the ground.  I wonder if it will make it through to the calling of witnesses this time around?  or, will it be another adjournment?

I wonder too what’s happened as far as defence getting its hands on those “confidential” Bastarache/Archdiocese of Moncton?  I suppose in due course we sill find out, but I truly am curious as to what’s going on here.

Mark your calendars and please try to get there to find out what’s going on as far as those Bastarache files are concerned.

Please keep the complainants in your prayers.

(5)  Father Linus Bastien

I’m sorry but was unable to get the next courtdate for Father Bastien today.  I tried.  The rotary for the courthouse wasn’t working – it would ring four or five times and then drop the connection.  I will try again in the New Year.

(6)  Father Jacques Faucher

I want to check out what is happening here.  When I called earlier this week to get the next courtdate I was told that all charges had been withdrawn.  That makes no sense at all.  After his recent preliminary hearing Father Faucher was  committed to stand trial on 7 counts of gross indecency and 7 counts if indecent assault.  I think it was an error – human or computer – wanted to try again to get that next courtdate but time passed me by.  I will get back at it after Christmas.

Keep the complainants in your prayers

*****

You may have notices that I removed the contact links from the site.  This is temporary – only over Christmas. I decided to close down the other email  for about ten days because when I am away I tend to have difficulty  receiving and responding to emails from Sylvia’s Site.  I haven’t had a chance to try to sort it all out again so decided this is the most practical solution to negate  many a headache :)    The links will be active again by New Year’s Eve.   Those who have my personal email are most welcome to contact me.

We are on our way to the States tomorrow – long trip ahead – thankfully weather looks good :)

I will continue to moderate comments while away, and will post anything which is breaking news.   I am having trouble with an eye, – please say a wee prayer that it doesn’t cause me problems while we are away :)

Enough for now,

Sylvia

 

 

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

Confidential?

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Christmas is just around the corner,  and this week is a busy week in court!  I know it’s a busy time for everyone but do hope and pray that those who can do so will get into the courtroom to find out what’s going on.  Here then are the courtdates for next week:

(1)  Father Yvon Arsenault

Monday, 15 December 2014:  09:30 am,  issues re Bastarache documents ? “preliminary inquiry date to be set,”  Moncton courthouse, Moncton NB(45 Assumption Blvd).

You will recall that Father Aresenault’s preliminary hearing of 09 December 2014 was adjourned at the 11 the hour. Defense wants to get its hands on the Bastarche files.  I’m not really sure what’s happening here, and in truth am surprised that defence can even access those files.  Maybe they can’t.  Tomorrow will perhaps tell.

You see, here’s my problem…

According to a June 2012 statement posted on the Archdiocesan website announcing the Bastarache-led Conciliation process “This process will be entirely confidential and independent from the Archdiocese.”

What I wonder was meant – and understood –  by “confidential”?

And, who, I am now wondering, has possession of those files?  Were they turned over to the Archdiocese by Mr. Bastarache after teh conciliation process wrapped up?  If not, who has keep/custody of the files? and who, I wonder, might fight on behalf of the complainants to retain the promised confidentiality?

Just thoughts.  I am both concerned and puzzled regarding this sudden turn of events and where it may be heading.

I shall have to wait to see who this unfolds.

So, this morning I think there should I think be some form of follow-up on this Bastarche files business, and also a setting of a another date for the preliminary inquiry/hearing.

 I do hope some people can get into court to find out what is happening, and in the process determine if there is or is not a battle playing out over disclosure of those Bastarache files.

Please keep the complainants in your prayers.  As always, please pass along any news of the outcome of today’s proceedings , including links to media coverage.

(2)  Father Peter Groulx

Tuesday,  16 December 2014:  09:30 am, courtroom # 105, “to be spoken to,”  Thunder Bay, Ontario courthouse (125 Brodie Street North. Thunder Bay, Ontario)

Father Groulx failed to appear at his last courtdate.  If he fails to appear tomorrow a warrant will be issued for his arrest.

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

Please keep the complainant in your prayers.

(3)  Father Linus Bastien

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

Note that this is NOT open to the public.  However the complainants still need your prayers.

(4)  Father Robyn Gwyn

Thursday, 18 December 2014:  ;09:00 am, courtroom #3, “to be spoken to,” Kingston Ontario courthouse (279 Wellington St.);  

Father Gwyn has yet to appear in court.  Perhaps he will finally make the trip  from wherever he is staying in Quebec to the  Kingston courthouse on Thursday?

Please keep the complainants in your prayers.

*****

Last Sunday parishioners at St. Patrick’s in Fallowfield , Ontario were told that their recently suspended pastor, Father Stephen Amesse , had received 128 emails between the Thursday he was charged and the next Friday morning, with all but one being positive.

Yesterday the following message appeared in St. Patrick’s Sunday bulletin

CONTACTING FR. STEPHEN AMESSE

To contact Fr. Steve, you can drop off a letter or leave a message with the office at St. Patrick’s Parish or you can phone the Archdiocese of Ottawa at 613 738-5025 Extension 244 and leave a message with Julie Tanguay.  We will make sure that he gets the message.  Father Steve appreciates the support he has received from many already.

Please keep the complainant in your prayers.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

 

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

Didn’t get off the ground

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The preliminary hearing for the Archdiocese of Edmonton’s Father Albert Laisnez is scheduled for tomorrow:

11 December 2014:  09:30 am, Preliminary Hearing, Sherwood Park courthouse, Alberta (190 Chippewa Rd.,)

A reminder that there is virtually always a publication ban on the names of complainants and on all evidence and testimony presented at preliminary hearings.  The hearings, however,  are open to the public.  I urge those who can do so to attend.

Please keep the complainants in your prayers.  IF the judge decides to rule as to whether or not he/she believes there judge rules

*****

The next courtdate for previously convicted molester Father John Sullivan is:

06 January 2015: 09:30 am, “to be spoken to” courtroom #101 (the set date courtroom), North Bay, Ontario court house (360 Plouffe Street)

Believe it or not, this all started when charges were laid away back in June 2012!

Please keep the complainants in your prayers:  this has to be so terribly difficult and frustrating for them.

*****

The preliminary hearing scheduled for yesterday (for Father Yvon Arsenualt never really got off the ground yesterday (09 December 2014).  His next courtdate is:

15 December 2014:  issues re Bastarache documents, Moncton courthouse, Moncton NB(45 Assumption Blvd)

I posted an article which covered yesterday’s proceedings.  The article was kindly translated for us by a reader

09 December 2014: “Adjournment of the case of former priest Yvon Arsenault ” & 0riginal French text

What I have learned is that the proceedings lasted about 45 minutes.  No complainants were called.  Aside what transpired yesterday there will be no preliminary hearing.

Father Arsenault’s next courtdate is:

15 December 2014:  issues re Bastarache documents, Moncton courthouse, Moncton NB (45 Assumption Blvd)

That next courtdate relates somehow to the disclosure of those Michel Bastarache/Moncton Archdiocese conciliation files.  I have no idea why it is only now – and at what was supposed to be a preliminary hearing – that the issue of those files was raised.   Nor do I have any idea as to how readily those files will be disclosed.

I had a blog ready to post detailing the background of the conciliation process as it relates to Father Arsenault.  I hit a key on the keyboard and somehow the whole thing disappeared – try as I might I can’t retrieve it for love nor money :(  I won’t try to recount what I had written at this time.  It would take me time to get all of it all together again so will just carry on and post this as is and direct those interested in background to the folksinging:

this page re thr Bastarache “Conciliation deals

a page with links and info on Michel Bastarache

a blog of 05 January 2013 – “Tangled web”

05 December 2013:  “Retired N.B. priest faces charges after alleged incidents involving boys” & related articles

As always, please keep the complainants in your prayers.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

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Church organist to stand trial

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Ganoanoque Church organist Brian Lucy’s next court date is:

05 January 2015: 10 am, assignment court, Brockville, Ontario courthouse, (41 Court House Square)

Lucy has now been committed to stand trial on two child porn charges, one charge of indecent assault of a male, and one charge of gross indecency.

I don’t know what happened to the “failure to comply” charges, but I checked and they are not listed.

The upcoming date in assignment court (05 January 2015)  should be setting a date for trial. (The initial charges relating to sex abuse were laid 27 August 2013)

Please keep the complainants in your prayers.

*****

I have been checking Moncton New Brunswick news to see if there is any word as yet on the outcome of the Father Yvon Arsenualt preliminary hearing.  Sometimes after a preliminary hearing judges will immediately rule as to whether or not there is sufficient evidence to go to trial.  Sometimes they reserve the decision and a new courtdate is set.   I see nothing yet.

If anyone sees or hears anything in the news please pass on the word.

I am sure the complainants are relieved the day is done.  I pray all went well.  Keep them in your prayers.

******

For those who are waiting for news, I haven’t checked yet for the next court date for Father John Sullivan.  Most courts don’t have that information available until the day after the scheduled courtdate.  I will check tomorrow or Thursday.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

Enough for now,

Sylvia

 

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Puzzled

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There are two courtdates tomorrow, Tuesday 09 December 2014

(1)  Father Yvon Arsenault

09 December 2014:   PRELIMINARY hearing, Moncton courthouse, Moncton, New Brunswick

This is a preliminary hearing so there will be a publication ban on the names of complainants and all testimony and evidence, but the hearing is open to the public and you can sit in the courtroom and hear and see for yourself.  It is a little like a mini trial for the judge to determine if there is sufficient evidence to go to trial.

I encourage those who are free to do so to attend, bot to support the complaianants and to watch and listen.

Please keep the complainants in your prayers.

(2)  Father John Sullivan

09  December 2014: 09:30 am, courtroom #101 “to set a date for trial,”  North Bay, Ontario court house (360 Plouffe Street)

Will anything of any significance happen tomorrow?  This has been going on and on and on.

Please keep the complainant in your prayers.  This has to be so terribly terribly frustrating for him,

*****

A trial date has been set for Father Robert Couture:

23 November 2015: 10 am, TRIAL by jury, set for three weeks, Windsor Superior Court of Justice (245 Windsor Avenue), Windsor, Ontario

Couture has opted for trial by jury.  How often do we see that these days?

Anyway, approximately one year from now Father Couture will be on trial before a jury.  The charges of theft over $5,000 were laid April 2013.

*****

An article added to the Father Stephen Amesse page:

08 December 2014:  Ottawa priest accused of sexual assault getting supportive emails, congregation hears

Can anyone think of why Episcopal Vicar Father Geoffrey Kerslake opted to tell parishioners at Sunday Mass that Father Amesse had received 128 emails between the Thursday he was charged and the next Friday morning, with all but one being positive ?

What’s the message to parishioners?  And what’s the message to the complainant?

Disturbing, and I personally believe totally uncalled for and inappropriate.

Supportive emails from parishioners aside, did you notice that Father Amesse was able to be make his first court appearance by videolink?   Was there concern that there would be such a horde of reporters at the Ottawa courthouse that his lawyer pushed for videolink?

I wonder who his lawyer is?

One final thing….

Yesterday I posted the following large article from the National Post about Cornwall’s Father Claude Thibault:

07 December 2014:  A test of faith: He was molested by a priest — then ordained as a priest with his abuser in the room

In the print copy the article takes up two entire pages of the paper.  It’s a large article.

Now, if you read over the information posted on the Father Stephen Amesse page  on Friday you would have noticed the following in the timelines:

1983?:  was studying for the priesthood at St. Paul’s University, Ottawa. Ontario.

At the Cornwall Public Inquiry Father  Claude Thibault, a priest with the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall and victim of clerical sexual abuse, testified that while he was in his second year of studies (1983)  for the priesthood at St. Paul’s University he disclosed his abuse by Father Gilles Deslaurier to fellow seminarian Stephen Amesse.

For some reason Amesse left the seminary before ordination and began working on Parliament Hill.  He obviously eventually returned and was ordained in 1999.  It is known that at some point he was in seminary at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut.  (Was this before or after his time on Parliament Hill?  was it after he was at St. Paul’s in 1983 with Claude Thibault? was he planning to be incardinated somewhere other than the the Archdiocese of Ottawa?)

That’s the same Father Claude Thibault – he testified at the Cornwall Public Inquiry seven years ago and at that time told much the same story on the stand that you read in this article.    As I comment at the foot of that article, back when Father Thibault testified I posted a link on the Father Thibault page to the following blog:

02 October 2007: BLOG Good point (Damage control? and reference friendship with Father Stephen Amesse who contributed to CCCB’s sex abuse guidelines From Pain to Hope. )

I was puzzled at the time by the priest’s testimony,   specifically hearing a victim of clerical sexual abuse from Cornwall praise  Bishop Eugene Larocque and lawyer and Church canon lawyer Jacques Leduc., and also hearing a priest/victim who is opposed to the defrocking of clerical molesters, and opposed to the US bishops’ Dallas Charter’s one strike you’re out policy, and who believes some priests only molest once and should be given a second chance.

I was floored when I heard that the seminarian in whom Thibault had confided in or around 1983 was a Stephen Amesse. – specifically because the Father Stephen Amesse in the Ottawa Archdiocese was ordained in 1991.  It made no sense.  But, it was indeed the same Stephen Amesse.

I was puzzled by Father Thibault’s testimony seven years ago.  I am puzzled by this article in the paper now.

As an interesting aside, I see that at some point Father Amesse attended Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell Connecticut.  I’m not sure when he was there, but he was there, either before or after his years working on Parliament Hill, he was there.   That’s the same seminary which Father Joe LeClair attended before he met then Archbishop Joseph Aurele Plourde who sort of ‘poached’ LeClair for the Archdiocese of Ottawa.   LeClair was ordained in 1986.

Does anyone know when exactly Father Amesse was in seminary in Connecticut?

The transcripts of Father Thibault’s testimony at the inquiry can be read here:

01 October 2007:  Father Claude Thibault transcript of testimony at the Cornwall Public Inquiry

02 October 2007:  Father Claude Thibault transcript of testimony at the Cornwall Public Inquiry

I must recheck but I think he testified that Father Amesse was from New Brunswick.  Other reliable sources say Father Amesse was born in Montreal.  Perhaps he spent some time in New Brunswick?  If anyone can clarify any of this please get in touch.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

Posted in Accused or charged, Alexandria-Cornwall Diocese, Canada, Circling the wagons, Clerical sexual predators, Cornwall, Cornwall Public Inquiry, Scandal | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Funeral

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The funeral Mass for Agnes MacDonald (John’s mother) is :

 Wednesday December 10, 2014 at St. Columban’s Catholic Church at 1pm

Visitation will be held at M. JOHN SULLIVAN FUNERAL HOME , 341 Pitt Street (across from city hall) Cornwall on

Tuesday, 09 December 2014  from 7 – 9pm

Wednesday, 10 December 2014 from 12 Noon to 12:30 pm

May she rest in peace.

My thoughts and prayers are with you John and all the family, and for the repose of your dear mother’s soul.

Sylvia

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Well connected

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Father Robert Couture has a courtdate this morning (Friday 05 December 2014) in Windsor, Ontario:

05 December 2014:  10 am, assignment court to set date for trial, Windsor Superior Court of Justice (245 Windsor Avenue)

Hopefully a trial date will be set.

If anyone can attend to find out what happens please do.

*****

Father Robyn Gwyn wasn’t in court in Kingston yesterday.  His next courtdate is:

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

There is unconfirmed talk of more charges .  We shall have to wait and see.

As always, please keep the complainants in your prayers.

*****

For those who missed the sad news that Father Dan Miller was acquitted, this blog:  The writing was on the wall

*****

Father Stephen Amesse‘s name and a link to a page with further information has been added to the Accused list.  There is still quite a bit of work to do to get the information together.  I will continue the task today.

As you can see, Father Stephen Amesse is well connected.

Please keep the complainant and his family in your prayers.  There is a rough year or two ahead.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

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Ottawa priest charged

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Father Stephen Amesse, a priest with the Archdiocese of Ottawa, Ontario, has been charged. Charged with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of sexual interference.  Charges date to 2008 – relate to allegations of sex abuse of a 14-year-old boy .

Police have been investigating since February of this year.

Amesse, a late vocation to the priesthood,  has been mentioned on Sylvia’s Site in the past, not as a molester but primarily because of his  involvement as a layman in compiling the CCCB guidelines on sex abuse (From Pain to Hope).

More to come.

I commend the complainant for speaking up and going to police.  He is young.  Please keep him and his family in your prayers.

I encourage those with further information or allegations to contact police.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

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The writing was on the wall

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Not a good day yesterday.  Not a good day at all.

And acquittal for convicted molester Father Dan Miller.

An acquittal.

I feared this was coming.  I didn’t want to comment on the trial before because I feared I would have the complainant and other victims needlessly concerned. I’ve discovered that it’s generally hard to know how a judge will rule.  I’ve seen cases where I was convinced there was no option but a conviction, – but, the accused was acquitted.  I’ve seen cases where I’ve had concerns that an acquittal was in the offing. – but the accused was convicted.  So, it’s just hard to know how a judge will rule on the evidence.

I’ve discovered too over the years that there seems to be a great divide between the manner in which members of the judiciary and we, the unwashed masses, view evidence and testimony.

And further to all of that, I’ve discovered – much to my dismay – that there seems to be yet another great divide between both sides regarding abhorrence for the crime of child sex abuse and the trauma inflicted upon the child victims.

True, there are exceptions, but on the whole I have come to the conclusion that we have a judiciary which allows defence lawyers to drum up all manner of outrageous hypothesis  out of the blue, and/or spin and distort facts to get his/her client, a sexual predator, off .  Alas, if the assigned Crown has neither the passion nor intellect to match wits with one of these defence lawyers, and/or if the judge falls hook line and sinker for the defence spin well, then it’s a “win” for a sexual predators and a decisive trumping of truth.  I alluded to this just two days ago when I blogged Another notch?

True, there are no doubt acquittals in which the accused is truly innocent and whereby defence use facts and truth to prove that the accused absolutely did NOT comment the offences.  I have yet to see one.  That doesn’t mean they don’t happen, only that I have personally have not seen it happen.

Do I think Father Miller molested that young boy back in the early 70s?  I do.

Do I think Father Miller got off today?  I do.

If there is one saving grace here it is that Miller had already been convicted on other charges and hence we all know that he is what he is legally: a sexual predator.  That’s not much of a saving grace is it?  In fact, that’s perhaps all the more reason to wonder what in the name of goodness happened here?

Silly question.  I have a darn good idea what happened.  I think I know where this trial derailed.

Two witnesses at trial:  period

That’s right.  Two.  Can you believe it?

That was it.  One witness for the Crown.  One witness for defence.

The Crown, Brian Holowka ,  put the complainant/victim (victim) on the stand.

That was the sum of the witnesses called to prove the Crown’s case.  One.  The victim.

There were no witnesses called with corroborating evidence.  There was no expert witness called to explain the deleterious and virtually stereotypical impact sex abuse has on a young boy, and, as in this instance, the impact which is unique to young Catholic boys who are molested by Roman Catholic priests.

Unfortunately it is rare in most of Canada to see an expert witness called to testify at any of these sex abuse trials.  I don’t know why.  $$$$s ?  Perhaps.  Regardless, there is many a time an expert should be called.

Anyway, the victim testified that he had been sexually abused by Father Dan Miller.  He testified that he stopped attending Mass shortly after the abuse.  I got the impression that he never connected his turning away from his faith to the abuse, and no such connection was elicited by the Crown.

We heard variously that Millar drove the boy home after a school dance,  had pizza with Miller at the pizza place ‘across from the church,’ was molested on three occasions by the priest:  once in the car, once in the rectory office, and once at what he called a  camp but may actually have been a retreat at the campgrounds.  The abuse entailed masturbation.

We learned too, and this is important, that the victim had been sexually abused by an uncle.

In fact, the victim had at one time written an article on child sex abuse.  In that article he disclosed that he had been sexually abused by an uncle.  There was no mention in the article of the abuse by Father Dan Miller.

The victim testified that for years he had had no recollection of the abuse by Father Dan Miller.  It was an article announcing the charges against Father Miller in a local newspaper which triggered his memory.

The memory issue became the nub of the acquittal.

It was in that regard that, at trial, the judge posed what proved to be a pivotal question

Justice James s question arose as the trial was about to wrap up.

But that’s running ahead of events a little.

Father Miller took the stand in his own defence.   Hopefully what follows will suffice to give a bit of a flavour of the nonsense that flowed from the mouth of this verbose convicted clerical molester.

Here then is a little of what we heard from Father Miller on the stand, 17 October  2014.

  • the allegations aren’t true because he doesn’t t recognize the complainant’s name and he doesn’t recognize the family name – but then offered several times that he is “awful” with names;
  • he has never ever abused boys in his car or office or at the retreat weekend at the campgrounds, and is absolutely certain of that because that is something he wouldn’t forget;
  • he would remember abusing this victim because the acts were so horrific;
  • he would remember if he abused this victim because all of his, Miller’s, sex abuse acts were “singles” and this was a “triple.”  He said he remembers what he called  “the singles” and concluded that “if I remember the singles surely to goodness I’d remember the triples.”   (“singles” are boys he claims he abused once.  There were three charges related to sexual abuse of the complainant in this trial – by Miller’s account that is a “triple.”)  On the heels of insistence that his victims are all “singles” he acknowledged that he had  in fact molested one of his victims from the first trial multiple times;
  • said there was just a field across from the church – no pizza shop. Asked if there was a pizza place close by he said he didn’t recall – “that was 40 years ago.” (The victim mentioned going to the pizza place across the street.  I have since learned that the pizza place was across the street figuratively if not literally.  The spot once occupied by the pizza place can be found on google maps .  It’s across the road from the church and down just a little.  )
  • he never went out for pizza because he had no need to go – there was a cook at the rectory and he was frequently invited out to people’s homes for meals.  He admitted he was much larger in those days than he is now, but,  – he didn’t go out for pizza;
  • he claimed he didn’t realize the damage he had done by molesting boys and that and it was only after he went to Southdown for treatment that he realised that “touching” the boys was wrong – but he claimed he would have seen masturbation as wrong;
  • under cross-examination testified that he has a sexual interest in males, and agreed that in the 70s that interest had to be expressed in secret.  When the Crown then mentioned that Miller had testified he had never touched anyone inappropriately as described by the victim in this case, Mr. Carew objected.
  • he never kept Kleenex in the glove compartment of his car;
  • he never molested boys while he was ‘at work’;
  • initially denied that he drove the boy home after a school dance specifically because he never took boys with him in his car alone unless he was off-duty, but then he testified that he couldn’t recall if he drove students home after dances because “that was 40 years ago, ” and then he testified that he might have done so sometimes “but if I did it had to be an emergency.”
  • testified that when he did have boys alone with him in the car he was going to visit his mother or in to Ottawa to visit a museum or something like that (we know from the sentencing hearing at the previous trial that Millar frequently molested his victims at his mother’s home);
  • claims that at his previous trial he pleaded guilty to some acts of sex abuse that he didn’t recall committing because they sounded the same as the other allegations to which he was pleading guilty. Although he claims he couldn’t remember committing these acts to which he pleaded guilty and can’t remember he was quite adamant that they did not happen in a car or at the office;
  • he pleaded guilty to sex of abuse of some boys even though he didn’t remember abusing the boys because, and I think I have his words accurately ‘you would have to have been there to know the facts,”
  • said he gave the names of the boys he abused to police, but acknowledged that there were victims the police tracked down on their own and laid charges  Miller then said that the latter charges were dismissed, but then he agreed that there were charges laid to which he pleaded guilty and it was not he who gave those names to police so obviously there were “some I don’t remember I guess,”
  • said he was not a “youth minister” because that was not his sole job, but admitted that he did do a lot of work with youth;

Credit where credit is due, the Crown did a good and often masterful job of exposing Miller’s tap dancing and deception. He unfortunately knew little about Catholicism, the priesthood and the Roman Catholic Church-  often a problem at trials such as this.

That said, back to the issue at hand:  the judge’s question.

Justice James’ question related to the victim’s memory.  James essentially wondered why, when writing that piece on sex abuse, the victim recalled being sexually abused by an uncle but failed at the same time to mention or recall all the abuse by Miller, and why the victim did not recall the sex abuse by Father Miller until he was triggered by an article in the local paper announcing the sex charges against the priest

The judge asked both lawyers if either or both could tell him anything about repressed memory.  He wondered why the memory of abuse by one person was repressed while the memory of another was not?  He wondered about the role of science, and the complexity of the human mind?  He wondered about the neuroscience of recovered memories.

To my knowledge there was never a diagnosis made of “repressed” memory.  True enough the word was used a few times in court, but I got the impression it was not used in a medical or scientific sense, and I also thought that on those occasions in which “repressed” was used  the word “suppressed” or the phrase “completely forgotten”  could have been used by the speaker.

Sadly, as I said, there were no expert witnesses called who might have clarified the matter.  Sadly too no witnesses were called who could corroborate testimony given by the victim. There is a publication ban on the victim’s name and anything which might reveal his identity so I must be careful what I say here, but I do believe there must be people out there who recall the victim’s church-related activities as a child.

It is important to note here that at trial and when Justice James posed the burning question he seemed to be impressed by the victim’s testimony;  he noted that sometimes the Crown has to deal with “unsavory witnesses” and that in this case the witness (victim) was at the other end of the spectrum,

No matter, the question was posed.

And the response?

Nothing.

Absolutely nothing!!

The Crown said that he himself is not a neuroscientist.

Defence said that in the absence of an expert witness being called the judge could not assume the memories are reliable,

No expert witness.

No explanation.

Not even a stumbling attempt to explain why the victim wrote an article referencing sex abuse by an uncle without reference to abuse by the priest.

I could not believe it.

Nothing.

I think that at that moment the writing was on the wall.

Yesterday, the acquittal.

In his reasons for judgement Justice James said he found the victim credible, articulate and not evasive., but…..

yes, – but, – the memory thing.

I am sick.

That’s where it’s at people.

I need to think about all of this a bit more.

The reasons for judgement should be available within the next couple of weeks.  When I get them I will post.

Please please keep the complainant in your prayers.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

Posted in Accused or charged, Acquitted, Canada, Clerical sexual predators, Scandal, Trials | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Court alert

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Father Robyn Gwyn has a court date today in Kingston:

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

I urge those who can do so to attend.  I had hoped to get there but our car is going into the garage early in the morning to have the heater fixed – again! It’s chilly travelling without a functional heater these days so the problem must be solved :)  Anyway, I unfortunately can’t make it to Kingston.  I hope that others can.

Please keep the complainants in your prayers.

*****

Does anyone have news on the outcome of Brian Lucy preliminary hearing of yesterday (Tuesday, 03 December 2014) in Brockville? was he committed to stand trial on the child porn charges?

I will check later today to get the next courtdate.

As always, please keep the complainants in your prayers

*****

I am going to hold posting the blog on Father Dan Miller‘s acquittal until early morning.  It’s ready to go but don’t want to post it here right now.  So, first a few hours to alert everyone about courtdates and then I will post.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

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