Previously convicted Oblate molester Father Omer Desjardins had a courtdate scheduled in Winnipeg this afternoon:
24 July 2017: 1 pm, “to be spoken to,” court room # 302, Winnipeg Provincial courthouse (Main Floor, 408 York Ave.)
I see no coverage of the outcome as yet. If you hear or see anything please pass it along.
Please keep the complainant in your prayers.
The next court date for Father George Ansel Smith is:
28 August 2017: 09:30 am, “Adjourned for Election and/or Plea,” Stephenville Newfoundland courthouse.
Note too that the following article ran in the Western Star on 17 July 2017:
N.S. man charged with indecent assault in western Newfoundland
The Western Star (Corner Brook, Newfoundland)
An incident alleged to have taken place nearly 40 years ago has resulted in a 79-year-old man from Dartmouth, N.S., being charged with indecently assaulting another male.
The man was not present when his case was called in provincial court in Stephenville on Monday and was instead represented by a lawyer.
The appearance was the third one since his first appearance on the charge on May 1.
There is publication ban in place on the case and The Western Star has chosen not to identify the accused because as of press time it was unable to confirm if the ban extended to the man’s name.
Information filed with the court indicates the alleged assault occurred sometime between Jan. 1, 1978 and Dec. 31, 1980 and that it took place at or near St. Fintan’s.
During Monday’s appearance the case was set over to Aug. 28.
Please keep the complainant in your prayers.
There are two courtdates set for this coming Wednesday:
1. Ex priest presently incarcerated convicted serial Oblate molester Eric Dejaeger is attempting to appeal a number of his convictions. A court date reralted to that appeal is set
26 July 2017: 1:30 pm, Nunavut Court of Appeal, Iqaluit courthouse, Iqaluit, Nunavut
Dejaeger will probably not be in Iqaluit but will without doubt – as per court order – be represented by a court appointed lawyer whose tab will be picked up by the Attorney General of Canada.
Please keep the many victims in your prayers as this appeal continues to drag its way through the system.
2. Convicted molester Father Robin Gwyn has a court date related to the charges to which he entered a guilty plea:
26 July 2017: 11 am, “to be spoken to,” Ontario Superior Court of Justice, 5 Court Street, Kingston
There is a possibility that this will be sentencing, but it is highly possible that it will be tied into setting a date for a sentencing hearing and/or sentencing. I do wish I knew. No matter, I encourage those who can do so to attend.
Please keep the complainants in your prayers.
Yes, I realize that I have yet to blog on the Father Denis Vaillancourt closing arguments. It has been running through my head every day. All I can think of when I think of Father Vaillancourt and these charges is the terrible betrayal of the complainant/victim/”Craig” and this young man’s entire family. Yes, it’s true, that betrayal is always there. Always. But, in this instance it has been so visible. It has been almost palpable.
There were at least 15 members of the complainant’s family and extended family members in court for closing argument. A lovely family. Father Vaillancourt was brought into that family about 28 years ago. He married their children. He baptised their babies. He shared their special occasions. He was invited into their homes for Christmases and Easters. He was virtually viewed as one of the family.
Many of the family members are still in a state of utter shock. They don’t understand. How could he do this? Why did he do this?
There were tears in the courtroom during the closing arguments. The Crown was talking about relationships of trust. Craig’s mother broke down completely: big deep sobs suddenly emanated through the courtroom. The kind of sobs that convulse your entire body. The talk of relationships of trust was just too much. Mom was heart-broken . She was asked to leave the courtroom. Craig left with her. Eventually both returned.
And then it was Craig’s Dad. Dad barely managed to stifle the sobs, but, despite shoulders heaving, he did so. It was a battle, but he managed to ensure that not a peep emerged from his lips. He manged to keep his agony silent. He was able to stay.
These poor souls can not believe that the Father Vaillancourt that they knew and loved would sexually assault Craig. True, we do not as yet have a verdict, but we have heard Father Vaillancourt admit that he had had his hands on Craig’s bottom, and we heard him admit to having his hand or hands on Craig’s belly, and we heard him dance around in ever decreasing circles while he admitted to making – but trying to explain away or rationalize – his simultaneous very inappropriate sexual comments and questions.
Aside the usual argument that anything which happened was consensual, and the claim that there is no “air of reality” to the allegations made by Craig and other witnesses, defence is basically arguing that the acts (bottom and belly) were not sexual and that the Criminal Code does not define sexual assault and that therefore the judge will have to determine if those acts constitute sexual assault which in Mr. Johnson’s opinion they are not. The Crown did a masterful job of tying all the pieces together; the hands on the bottom and the belly touching were sexual, intertwined as they were with the sexual language which simultaneously emanated from Father Denis Vaillancourt. She addressed the fact that consent can not be obtained after the fact, as Vaillancourt has tried to imply when he asked Craig “Is that okay?” Ms. Evans compared that to closing the barn door after the horses have escaped.
Father Vaillancourt sat poker faced throughout most of the hearing. He did become very flushed when Mom broke down. And he had a little chuckle when his lawyer exchanged a few joking words with the judge which Father Vaillancourt found to be quite amusing, but, that aside – poker faced.
His lawyer Johnson tried to imply that Grandma’s testimony was all triggered by her anger at Father Vaillancourt. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Grandma is not angry at Vaillancourt. Strange as it may sound, she truly is not angry. She just can not understand why Vaillancourt would do what he did to her grandson. “My Craig.” She constantly referred to Craig as “My Craig.” She would look at Father Vaillancourt when she was testifying and ask “Why did you do this to my Craig?” or “How could you do this to my Craig?”
And so, even during the brief break between submissions Grandma approached Father Vaillancourt in the hall. She wasn’t angry. They talked. I couldn’t hear what was said, but I could see. She wasn’t yelling and screaming. She was looking for answers. She is finished with Father Vaillancourt. There is no doubt about that. Byt, she’s still trying to understand.
Sad. An entire family. Betrayed. Betrayed by a priest they loved, a priest who had become a part of their family.
That’s actually what has stuck with me about this trial. The betrayal. The terrible terrible sense of betrayal felt by young and old alike. As I said, it was palpable.
How will the judge rule? I have no idea. I know how I think she should rule, but I have no idea what the verdict will be. No matter the verdict, Craig and his family know what happened. The trust is gone. The friendship is over.
As for Father Vaillancourt, whether convicted or not, he has, of his own volition, lost the love and long-term friendship of an entire family – from Grandma, to children, to husbands and wives , to grandchildren.
Please keep Craig and his family in your prayers.
Enough for now,