Murphy: John E Murphy

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John Evangelist Murphy

Brother John Murphy

Brother John Evangelist Murphy

Thomas Murphy

Brother John E Murphy, faculty picture in the 1951 Adelphian (St. Bonaventure College yearbook)

Former Christian Brother. Teacher. 1996 charged.  1999 extradited from theU.S.2004 CONVICTED – conditional sentence – allowed to serve 20 month house arrest inNew YorkStatewhere no one had authority to supervise him.  Was apparently still functioning as a lay minister in the Diocese of Albany New York until his conviction was brought to the attention of Bishop Howard Hubbard.

Married with nine children. Twice voted teacher of the year in  New York county


Archbishops of the Archdiocese of St. John’s, Newfoundland during Brother John Murphy’s time in the archdiocese:  Edward Patrick Roche  (26 February 1915 –  23 September 1950); Patrick James Skinner (January 1951-April 1979).


08 April 2016:  Man says he told priest in confession of sexual incidents


08 October 2002:  R. v. Murphy, 2002 CanLII 54039 (NL SCTD) – application for stay dismissed

20 December 1999: John Evangelist (Thomas) Murphy v United States of America (United States Court of Appeals)


The following information is drawn from media (M), legal documents (L) and the 1951 Adelphian (St. Bonaventure College yearbook)

2005:  classified as a Level 2 sex offender in the States – for next ten years must register once a year with the state Division of Criminal Justice Services.

11 December 2004:  despite his conviction had been functioning as a lector at St. Joseph’s Church in Dolgeville, New York – was  told by Diocese of Albany, New York to cease any public duties as a lay minister (M)

May 2004:  20 month conditional sentence – initial reporters that the sentence was to be served under house arrest inNewfoundland but in fact arrangements were made for him to serve it (M)

February 2004:  CONVICTED on four counts of indecent assault on four young boys at Mount  Cashel and acquitted on two other charges (M) 

18 June 2003:  mistrial declared.  New trial ordered (M)

June 2003:  trial started (M)

08 October 2002:  application for stay dismissed

06 September 2001:   the assualt charge was stayed by the Crown

25 May 2001:  committed to stand trial on five counts of indecent assault, one of gross indecency and one of assault.

17 March 2000:  bail set for $50,000.  Allowed to return to the States and report weekly by phone to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) and return to court when required (M)

18 February 2000: taken into custody and flown to Newfoundland.  First court appearance

December 1999:  lost his battle against extradition to stand trial in Canada.  Denied any wrong-doing.  Said  “.I think the kids are looking for greenbacks.”

11 May 1998:  arrested on an extradition warrant by U.S. marshals at his residence . (M)  The community of Dolgeville rallied to support him,  Released on bail by US judge. Several mortgaged their homes for his bail (M)

Described as a wonderful teacher and family man who attends Mass daily (M)

fought his extradition (L)

02 December 1997:  International Assistance Group in Ottawa makes request to the USA for the extradition of John Evangelist Murphy (L)

19 November 1996:  charged – six charges from five former residents of  Mount  Cashel.  (M)

extradition proceedings commenced (L)

Retired to Dolgeville, near  Syracuse,New York(M)

Taught at a high school near  New York city for 25 years (M)

1967:  Left the Christian Brothers (M)

1961:  left Newfoundland permanently (L)

1950-1960:  sexually abusing boys at Mount Cashel Orphanage, St. John’s, Newfoundland (L)

Spent 11 years at Mount Cashel  as a music teacher.  He was also in charge of a dormitory where some of the sex abuse transpired (M)

1951:  St. Bonaventure College, St. John’s Newfoundland (A)

also on staff at St Bon’s that year were Brothers Ronald J. Lasik and Gerard K Barry.  Lasik and Barry were both,  like Murphy, later charged and convicted for sexual abuse of boys at Mount Cashel (A)

1949:  moved to Newfoundland and took up duties at Mount Cashel Orphanage.  At Mount Cashel for two years before “he took a short break to teach at another school in St. John’s for approximately one year” (L)

according to court documents is well educated and holds several degrees (L)

mid 1940s:  joined the Christian Brothers (L)

1929:  Born in the United States (L)


Ex-minister named sex offender (Albany, NY)

Sunday, 15 May 2005

A former lay minister at St. Joseph’s Church in Dolgeville, Herkimer County, about 80 miles northwest of Albany, has been classified as a Level 2 sex offender.

John Evangelist Murphy, 75, must now register with the state Division of Criminal Justice Services once a year for 10 years.

Murphy, who was once a member of the Canadian Christian Brothers order, was found guilty in 2003 for sex crimes that happened from 1950 to 1960 at the Mount Cashal Orphanage in Canada.

He is serving a 20-month sentence of house arrest imposed by a Canadian judge after his conviction last year on four counts of indecent assault of four boys.

Bishop Howard Hubbard of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany banned Murphy from public participation in his church in December once he learned of his past.

Church officials said they’d had no idea about Murphy’s background until a series of articles in the Dallas Morning News late last year.

Murphy, now married with nine children, was a band teacher at the Christian Brothers of Ireland facility in Newfoundland. It closed in 1990 after 10 Roman Catholic brothers were convicted of abusing boys there.

He and six other men were charged in 1996 with more than 50 counts of assault against 17 complainants, who were between the ages of 10 and 15 at the time of the incidents.

Murphy moved to the United States after leaving his order.

– Michele Morgan Bolton


Hubbard bars lay minister over past

Albany Times Untion

14 December 2004


ALBANY — Bishop Howard Hubbard has banned a 75-year-old man from public participation in his Herkimer County church after learning that the onetime Christian Brother was convicted of child sexual abuse in Canada.

John Evangelist Murphy was a lay minister at St. Joseph’s Church in Dolgeville, about 80 miles northwest of Albany. His crimes were mentioned in Dallas Morning News articles last week.

Murphy is serving a 20-month sentence of house arrest imposed by a Canadian judge following his conviction last year on four counts of indecent assault of four boys at the Mount Cashal Orphanage between 1950 and 1960.

Reached Monday, Murphy, whose first trial ended in mistrial in 2003, had little to say: “Shoot, this never ends. No comment.”


Church acts against  Mt.Cashel  offender

Canadian Press

Saturday, 11 December 2004

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany told a lay minister to stop any public duties in one of its parishes after investigating a news report that he was convicted of sex charges in Canada this year.

A Canadian judge allowed John Evangelist Murphy, 75, of Dolgeville,N.Y., to serve 20 months of house arrest in New York  state, where no one has authority to supervise him, the Dallas Morning News newspaper reported Monday.

Murphy was convicted in May of fondling four boys in the 1950s while a teacher at Mount Cashel Orphanage in St. John’s, Nfld., run by the Christian Brothers of Ireland.

Murphy left the order decades ago and lived in New York  state for years before he was extradited to Canada  for trial, the newspaper reported.

Murphy, reached at home Friday, declined comment on Bishop Howard Hubbard’s decision.

He told the newspaper his ministry at St. Joseph’s Church consisted of reading the Bible during mass and visiting parishioners in the hospital.

The Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests sent a letter to Hubbard Friday asking that he look into whether anyone covered up knowledge of Murphy’s past and that he visit the parish to encourage the reporting of any abuse.

Kenneth Goldfarb, a diocesan spokesman, said church officials didn’t know about Murphy’s background until it was brought to their attention by the newspaper’s reporters. He said Friday night he didn’t know whether the bishop had seen SNAP’s letter.

“Parishioners normally volunteer,” said Goldfarb, noting Murphy was not a church employee.

“There is no practice to check the background of everyone who walks through the church doors.”

Dolgeville is 100 kilometres west of Albany.

The newspaper’s report is part of a yearlong investigation into the international shuffling of accused clergy.


Taking Cover under the Red, White and Blue Canada Lets 4 Accused of Child Molestation Call U.S. Home

Dallas Morning News

07 December 2004

By Brooks Egerton and Reese Dunklin
Dallas Morning News
December 7, 2004

Last of three parts

Catholic workers accused of sexual abuse sometimes start over in the United States after getting special treatment from justice officials abroad.

Four religious brothers from one rural Canadian province, for instance, are living free in this country.

Two of the men are fugitives whom Canadian prosecutors have never tried to bring back for trial. A prosecutor who opposed one man’s extradition became his attorney in a lawsuit over the alleged abuse.

The other two are convicts. One was let out of prison unusually early. The other was sentenced to house arrest but allowed to move to New York – where no one has the authority to supervise him – and is working in lay ministry.

U.S. authorities are investigating, based on The Dallas Morning News’ findings.

“We’re concerned about these matters,” said Jamie Zuieback, Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman in Washington, D.C. “We’re looking into what avenues can be pursued.”

Some officials in Canada are upset, too. Vic Toews, a Parliament member who speaks for the Conservative Party on crime issues, is seeking a federal inquiry on his side of the border. He said the cases undermine his country’s policy of aggressively combating child molestation.

Mr. Toews, a former prosecutor, said leaving the men free in the United States “gives them another opportunity to abuse.”

The News’ findings are part of a yearlong investigation into how Catholic priests and other church workers accused of sexual abuse move from country to country. Religious leaders aren’t the only ones helping them – justice officials, through direct involvement or inaction, sometimes do, too.

The four Canadian cases began in Newfoundland and Labrador, a sprawling province of about a half-million people in the easternmost part of the nation.

An orphanage in the province was the scene of one of the country’s worst clergy abuse scandals, which authorities and church leaders covered up when allegations first surfaced in the 1970s. Two top justice officials, for example, cut a deal with the Catholic order that ran the Mount Cashel orphanage. Two accused workers left Newfoundland and faced no charges, despite statements that police had taken from several victims.

The complaints resurfaced in the late 1980s, causing public outrage and leading to a government inquiry that documented the church-state collusion. Newfoundland’s justice system later admitted it “failed in its responsibilities to these children” and convicted about a dozen members of the order, the Christian Brothers of Ireland in Canada.

Past still swirls

Controversy over the now-demolished Mount Cashel orphanage continues to this day. More than 80 victims recently won payments from the Christian Brothers’ assets, but they had to surrender their right to sue Newfoundland’s government.

And the final Mount Cashel prosecution ended a few months ago with special consideration for the guilty party.

Justice Seamus O’Regan rejected prosecutors’ recommendation of prison time and gave John Evangelist Murphy 20 months of house arrest for fondling four boys in the 1950s. Then the judge took the extraordinary step of letting him return to upstate New York, where he had lived for years before he was extradited for trial.

Had Mr. Murphy served his sentence in Newfoundland, he would have been required to wear an electronic monitor and been subject to random visits by authorities and drug testing.

New York authorities said they had no standing to supervise him, and a top Newfoundland corrections official conceded that little could be done to enforce the sentence.

“Quite frankly, we believe the court may have exceeded its jurisdiction,” said Marvin McNutt, head of the Division of Corrections and Community Services in Newfoundland.

Justice O’Regan said it would be inappropriate for him to comment on the sentence. In court, he cited Mr. Murphy’s age and “exemplary lifestyle” since leaving Mount Cashel as reasons for his decision.

Mr. Murphy, 75, was a teacher at the orphanage but left the Christian Brothers decades ago. He moved to the United States, married, raised a family and taught school.

On a recent Sunday, he read from the Bible during Mass at St. Joseph’s Church in Dolgeville, N.Y. He later said he’s simply following his sentence, which permits a range of activities outside his home.

“I can go visit people in the hospital and cheer them up,” he said, “and I can drive people to and from their errands.”

Mr. Murphy’s pastor, the Rev. Leo Potvin, declined to comment on his lay ministry. Albany Diocese officials said they were unaware of the situation and would investigate.

Lack of remorse

Mr. Murphy’s former colleague and fellow convict Ronald Justin Lasik, 73, is also free in New York now because of an unusual decision in Canada.

Police and prosecutors had called him the worst of Mount Cashel’s abusers. A judge noted his lack of remorse for sexually assaulting and beating seven boys in the 1950s, incidents she said were on “the higher end of seriousness.” She rejected a bid for leniency because of his age and sentenced him to 101/2 years in prison – more than any of the orphanage’s other workers.

“I recognized that the offender has had the benefit in his more youthful years of a free lifestyle without having been called upon to account for his criminal activities,” Justice Maureen Dunn said during the 1999 court hearing.

But a third of the way through his term, federal parole officials released him after determining he was a low risk, citing his completion of a treatment program and good behavior. It was the minimum he was required to serve, and far less than most sex offenders do in Canada.

Early release is especially rare when abusers remain unapologetic, Canadian experts say. The national parole board’s written rationale for releasing Brother Lasik included this statement: “You continue to deny your guilt and have failed to display victim empathy or remorse.”

Brother Lasik was deported in 2003 to the United States, where he, too, had lived before Canada forced him to trial. He faces no standard post-prison requirements, such as living in a halfway house or meeting with a parole officer.

“Of course, our laws don’t follow him to the United States, but we do everything we can to notify the state where he’s going,” said parole board official Brian Chase. “Canada’s not looking to dump its problems on the U.S. or any other country.”

Brother Lasik is registered as a sex offender in New York, where he lives at a Christian Brothers residence about 100 miles north of New York City. The state, unlike Canada, classified him as a high risk. He refused to answer questions by phone and hung up on a reporter. Christian Brothers officials in New York did not respond to messages.

Former Mount Cashel resident Patrick Williams said several of Brother Lasik’s victims were stunned by the early release.

“All of them said the same thing,” he said. “What was it all for?”

Extradition opposed

Even as they were bringing some of Mount Cashel’s alleged abusers to trial, Newfoundland prosecutors opposed extradition of two fugitives from other religious orders who had gone to the United States.

One was Paul Baynham, whom police charged in 1990 with abusing two adolescent boys a few years earlier in a remote tribal village. One accuser, Simeon Tshakapesh, said Mr. Baynham “grabbed me from behind and threw me on the ground and molested and choked me.”

Initially, prosecutor Bernard Coffey opposed extradition on the theory that Mr. Baynham would be released on probation if convicted, as an abusive priest recently had been. But that priest might have been sentenced to prison if not for Mr. Coffey’s delays in the case, a court said.

Years later, another prosecutor gave a different reason for not extraditing: The previous decision to leave Mr. Baynham free had violated his right to a speedy trial. Today, assistant director of prosecutions Kathleen Healey says her office still opposes extradition because of speedy-trial and other concerns that she would not divulge.

Ms. Healey said the charges against Mr. Baynham remain alive and that he could be arrested if he returned to Canada. But the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which brought the charges, said the arrest warrant was removed from their database about three years ago for unknown reasons.

Meanwhile, Mr. Baynham’s two accusers are suing him and the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the order for which he worked in Newfoundland. His attorney in that lawsuit is Mr. Coffey, the former prosecutor who first opposed extradition.

The accusers asked Mr. Coffey to withdraw, contending he had a conflict of interest, but he refused. Mr. Coffey, who also represents the Oblates, declined to comment.

Mr. Baynham, 52, declined to be interviewed. In an e-mail to The News, he denied wrongdoing.

“I do intend to return and deal with all charges,” he wrote, “and certainly I am not guilty of any of this.”

He added that he “took bad advice years ago in not immediately responding to this, and it has caused pain to far too many people.”

Mr. Baynham also stressed that he was not a fugitive when he left Canada in the mid-1980s.

From that point until 1993, he worked for another order, the Trappists, at Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky. He now works in the Washington, D.C., area for an information-technology firm that is a government contractor.

The Trappists said Canadian police came to the abbey in 1989 to interrogate Mr. Baynham but never told the order about the charges that were filed the next year. Police say the suspect wouldn’t answer substantive questions.

Newfoundland prosecutors recently changed their explanation for not extraditing another religious brother, Franciscan friar Gerald Chumik. But they won’t discuss the new rationale. Police say they disagree with it but won’t elaborate.

The News reported in July that when Brother Chumik was charged in 1990, prosecutors said the U.S.-Canada extradition treaty didn’t specifically cover the alleged crime, gross indecency. But it broadly applied to sexual abuse of children, U.S. officials have noted, and now specifically covers indecency charges.

Meanwhile, Brother Chumik has been moved from a California parish to a home for abusive clergy near St. Louis. His order previously said the 69-year-old friar would stay in California in part because he was too sick to travel.

Ms. Healey, the assistant director of prosecutions, said her office is not going easy on church workers accused of abuse who were unconnected to the high-profile Christian Brothers scandal.

“We certainly try to prosecute vigorously whenever it’s feasible,” she said.

Mr. Toews, the Parliament member and former prosecutor, questioned that.

“They let sleeping dogs lie,” he said.


15 years later,Mount  Cashel  cases appear to end

CBC News

Last Updated: Friday, May 28, 2004 | 3:54 PM ET

Mount Cashel sexual abuse trials, which have rocked  Newfoundland and  Labrador for 15 years, appear to have come to an end.

A Newfoundland Supreme Court judge gave John Evangelist Murphy, 75, who was convicted of four counts of indecent assault on boys living at the orphanage in the 1950s, a 20-month conditional sentence on Friday.

Two of the victims read victim impact statements in court Friday; neither of them felt today’s sentence was appropriate.

Police say Murphy’s trial was the last known case involving sexual abuse at the hands of the Christian Brothers, a lay order that ran the orphanage in St. John’s  for 115 years.

Murphy, who now lives in the United States, will be placed under house arrest in Newfoundland, for now. He may later be permitted to serve part of his sentence in the United Sates.

The Mount Cashel Orphanage opened in 1875 to care for orphaned and needy boys. It closed in 1990 after charges were brought against brothers for sexually abusing or beating boys who lived in the orphanage in the 1960s and 1970s.

Subsequent police investigations were opened into claims of abuse dating as far back as the 1940s.


Former Christian Brother given conditional sentence

Toronto Globe and Mail

29 May 2004

A former Christian Brother was given a 20-month conditional sentence yesterday in one of Newfoundland’s final Mount Cashel  sexual abuse trials.

John Evangelist Murphy, 75, who was convicted of four counts of indecent assault on boys who lived at the Mount Cashel Orphanage in the 1950s, received his sentence at Supreme Court in St. John’s.

Mr. Murphy, who now lives in theUnited States, will serve his sentence under house arrest inNewfoundland.


Former Christian Brother Guilty


23 February 2004

Sgt. Mark Wall of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary was the full time investigator into abuse at the Mt. Cashel Orphanage since January of 1991. Throughout that time there have been sixteen Christian Brothers and five civilian employees of the home who have been charged with sexual and physical abuse. In all more than two hundred charges have been laid. On Saturday at Supreme Court that last of those cases came to an end. Former Christian Brother John Evangelist Murphy was found guilty of four counts of indecent assault for sexually touching four young boys at the orphanage in the 1950s. He was found not guilty of two other charges. Sgt. Wall was on hand for the verdict.

Over the years Sgt. Wall has dealt with hundreds of men who spent time at the orphanage as boys. Some told horrific stories of abuse some of those he talked to didnt want to testify. He said the effect was different for all involved.

The  Mt.Cashel  is the type of investigation that known to police as a career file. Over the years Sgt. Wall himself has had the case effect his life and he expects it will follow him his whole life.

John Evangelist Murphy will be back in court in St. Johns  this week to have a date set for his sentencing he is not in custody.


Jury To Decide Fate of Former Christian Brother

NTV News

February 19, 2004

The verdict watch begins now for John Evangelist Murphy and his lawyer Michael Caroline. Mr. Murphy is a former Mt. Cashel Christian brother facing six charges of abuse dating back to the 1950’s. Today his lawyer Mr. Caroline attacked the credibility of the five complainants who testified at this trial. Mr. Caroline said there are enough inconsistencies in their testimony to raise a reasonable doubt. At one point Mr. Caroline said that he was angry about the case that has haunted his client since 1996. He said one of the charges can’t be made out because the complainant never told the jury that it happened. Also that one complainant has a criminal record, including a fraud conviction in 1995, saying that witness’s credibility is tainted. But what is more, the lawyer pointed to a report done by the investigating officer Sgt. Mark Wall that recommended no charges be laid in this case. The officer did lay charges after reviewing his report and doing further investigation. Mr. Caroline said to the jury that they should also consider that two of the alleged victims couldn’t point Mr. Murphy out of a photo lineup and that one even confused this Brother Murphy with another Brother Murphy. All five men have filed civil lawsuits in this case seeking compensation… and Mr. Caroline told the jury that given the men’s involvement in the suit with the same lawyer… there is a distinct possibility that their evidence has been contaminated with the knowledge of the other’s evidence. While on the stand the men told the jury they did not get together to discuss the civil suit. Crown Attorney Steve Dawson gave his address yesterday… saying the men were credible in their stories of the abuse they suffered. The jury will deliberate on their verdict into this evening… they’ll likely continue on Friday.


Mistrial In Christian Brother Case

NTV News

June 18, 2003

Seventy-four year old John Evangelist Murphy of New York was surrounded by his nine children and other family this morning at Supreme Court inSt. John’s. The former Mt. Cashel Christian brother went on trial Friday charged with abusing five former residents of the orphanage, but this morning the case ended abruptly when Mr. Justice James Adams declared a mistrial. It all began yesterday morning when the first witness was testifying… The complainant told the court that Mr. Murphy had hit him with a food tray. But after a legal argument it was ruled that that evidence was inadmissible. Then defence lawyer Michael Caroline from Toronto  argued that it warranted a mistrial because the evidence of bad character was so prejudicial to Mr. Murphy that the jury wouldn’t be able to ignore it even if properly instructed to do so. After the mistrial was ordered Mr. Murphy had no comment, but a former  Mt.Cashel  resident who was not directly involved in this case was not pleased. Despite the mistrial, Mr. Murphy now faces a new trial with a new jury… and that means the cost of his defence will go up. The case will be called again at Supreme Court Thursday morning… its expected at that time the court will be able to provide a new trial date for this coming fall.


Victims stayed quiet about abuse, trial told

Toronto Globe and Mail

12 February 2001

ST. JOHN’S, NFLD. — One of five men who were once residents at the Mount Cashel  orphanage testified at the trial of a former Christian Brother yesterday that when they were abused, they kept their mouths shut about it.

After an alleged sexual incident involving the complainant and the accused, John Evangelist Murphy, the witness said he did nothing and said nothing.

The alleged incident took place more than 50 years ago.

“There was nothing we could do, we had to keep quiet about it,” the second complainant to testify at Mr. Murphy’s trial said.

The man’s identity is banned from publication.

Now living in the United States  and working as a correctional program officer in a state prison, the witness told the Newfoundland Supreme Court jury that he awoke in his dormitory at Mount Cashel  one morning as Mr. Murphy was fondling his genitals.

“Why I’m here today, he did sexually abuse me,” the witness said in response to questions from Crown prosecutor Steve Dawson.

Mr. Murphy is the last of about 15 former Christian Brothers, a Roman Catholic lay order, to be prosecuted for sexual and physical abuse against former residents of the orphanage.

The 74-year-old man of Yorktown Heights, N.Y., was charged Nov. 19, 1996, with six sex-related offences against former residents of Mount Cashel  in St. John’s  dating back to the 1950s and ’60s.

He and six other men were charged with more than 50 counts of assault against 17 complainants.

All but one of the seven men were former Christian Brothers.

The offences include indecent assault and gross indecency against the five males.

The witness yesterday testified in some detail. “I recall I was sleeping, it was daybreak, I woke up, Murphy was there fondling me. Playing with me, my penis, with his hands.

“I was very afraid, afraid to move. I don’t know how long it was. It might have been half an hour,” he said when Mr. Dawson questioned him about the allegation.

He finally spoke of it during therapy in the late 1980s, he told court. He said he told his therapist about Mount Cashel  and what had happened. He recalled it was around the same time the inquiry into allegations of abuse at  Mount Cashel was going on.

“When I left, the kids behind me had a very hard time with the Christian Brothers. It exploded in the newspapers and on television. I got in contact with police, and told them we were sexually abused also, but we never talked about it,” he said.

The trial, before Mr. Justice Seamus O’Regan began Tuesday after almost a week of  jury selec tion .


Charged brother can return toU.S.on bail


Last Updated: Friday, March 17, 2000 | 6:22 PM ET CBC News

A former brother from the  Mount Cashel orphanage, who has been charged with sex crimes against young boys, is being allowed to go back to the United States.

On Friday, a judge set bail for 71-year-old John Evangelist Murphy at $50,000.

Murphy was extradited from the U.S. several weeks ago. He’s been in custody ever since.

Murphy has been charged with five counts of indecent assault, gross indecency and assault. The events are alleged to have occurred during the 1950’s.

Murphy has been ordered to report to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary by phone once a week and to attend court when required


Mount Cashel brother will face abuse charges

National Post

08 January 2000

Paul Waldie

An American court has ordered a former Christian Brother to return to Canada  to face allegations he abused children at Newfoundland’s Mount Cashel  orphanage in the 1950s.

John Evangelist Murphy, who lives in Dolgeville, N.Y., is one of the last former Christian Brothers to face charges over abuse allegations at Mount Cashel. Ten others connected with the orphanage have been convicted in the last decade, including two who were there in the 1950s with Mr. Murphy.

Newfoundland  police charged Mr. Murphy in 1996 with five counts of indecent assault, one count of gross indecency and one count of common assault.

Mr. Murphy, who has twice been voted Teacher of the Year in a New York  county, has been fighting extradition in court but lost his last appeal two weeks ago.

Mr. Murphy, 71, denies any wrongdoing. “It’s all trumped up,” he said yesterday from his home. “Forty-five years later I find out I’m a fugitive from Canada. What a joke. I think the kids are looking for greenbacks.”

Dozens of civil suits have been filed over abuse allegations at the orphanage. In 1996, the provincial government awarded $11- million in compensation to a group of former residents. Mount Cashel  was closed in 1992.

Mr. Murphy joined the Christian Brothers in the 1940s. He spent 11 years at Mount Cashel  as a music teacher and also ran a dormitory where several former residents allege he sexually abused them.

One man alleges Mr. Murphy and other brothers whispered in his ear while they fondled him. Another alleges he woke up with Mr. Murphy molesting him and a third claims Mr. Murphy slammed his head against a desk so hard he was unconscious.

Mr. Murphy said there was no abuse at the orphanage when he was there. “I can stand before God and say none of this ever happened.”

Mr. Murphy, who is married and has nine children, returned to New York  in the early 1960s. He left the order in 1967.

He then spent 25 years teaching at a high school near New York City. He retired to Dolgeville, near Syracuse. He was arrested in May, 1998.

The town of 2,500 people rallied around Mr. Murphy and several people mortgaged their houses for his bail. Residents describe Mr. Murphy as a wonderful teacher and family man who attends Mass daily.

Geoff Budden, a St. John’s  lawyer representing several former residents, scoffed at Mr. Murphy’s denial of abuse. “This has been to court many times, and there have been convictions,” he said yesterday. “So obviously somebody is finding these fellows credible.”


Former Nfld. Christian Brother arrested  New York

St. John’s Evening Telegram

22  May 22, 1998

By BONNIE BELEC The Evening Telegram

One of two former Christian Brothers, who are fighting their return to  Newfoundland  to face assault charges against boys at the former Mount Cashel Orphanage, has been arrested inNew York. A spokeswoman for the Department of Justice confirmed late Thursday that John Evangelist Murphy, 69, of Dolgeville, N.Y., was arrested on May 11 on an extradition warrant by U.S.  Marshals at his residence. Also fighting to stay in the United States  is Thomas Cuthbert Ford, 64, of New Jersy, who faces nine counts of physical assault. It’s been 18 months since Murphy and six other men were charged with more than 50 counts of assault against 17 complainants, who were between the ages of 10 and 15 at the time of the alleged offences. All but one of the seven men, who are facing 59 charges of sexual and physical assault, are former Christian Brothers. It is alleged the offences took place at the orphanage from 1950 to 1964. Since being notified of the charges against him, Murphy has been fighting extradition to  Newfoundland.

RNC Sgt. Mark Wall said he was left with little choice but to issue a Canada  wide extradition warrant for Murphy. “We knew where they were but they weren’t coming back, they wouldn’t talk to me so I had no choice but to issue warrants,” he said.

Wall said he’s unsure what the next step is. Elizabeth Riker, an assistant U.S.  attorney, told The Evening Telegram Murphy is still in custody and will be until at least June 4. She said he’s had a bail hearing but the judge who heard the evidence hasn’t made a decision on whether to release him. Riker said a date hasn’t been set down for the decision, but an extradition hearing is scheduled for June 4. Murphy is facing seven counts of physical and sexual assault against six boys. All seven men were charged in November 1996 following a seven-year investigation by the RNC which was sparked by other allegations of abuse that surfaced in 1989. In the first phase of the Mount Cashel  scandal, nine Christian Brothers, who were caretakers of the former orphanage in the early 1970s, were charged with committing acts of sexual and physical assaults against young boys staying there. All were convicted and sentenced to various periods of time in prison ranging from one year to 13 years.

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