Lawsuits Pile Up Against Priest

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From left to right: Lawyer Rob Talach, victims David Turrill and Denis Robert, and Lawyer Aaron Lealess at a news conference, August 2011. (Photo by Dave Richie)

Nearly two dozen men have now come forward alleging sexual abuse by a late Tilbury priest.

In 2011, four men went public with claims they were sexually abused by Father Bernard Robert, while serving as altar boys at St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church during the 1970s and 80s.

The victims’ lawyer Rob Talach says another 16 men have launched lawsuits against the priest, who died in 1996. “In addition to the 20, there’s another four that we’ve had contact with that, we’re not retained yet, but we’re aware of them and we’re aware of their abuse. So it’s been really an ongoing process.”

Talach says the initial four men have settled and received a total of about $550,000 from the Diocese of London.

Watch the video from the 2011 news conference launching the initial lawsuits against Father Robert.

1 Response to Lawsuits Pile Up Against Priest

  1. Sylvia says:

    This is an article from 2014, but it gives an update on the outcome of the first series of lawsuits filed in 2014. Note that at that time there were approximately 24 men alleging abuse by this priest.

    Note too that David Turrill says he and his best friend were both abused but never told the each other because it’s something you just don’t talk about. That is so very true. My experience is that victims do not talk about their abuse to each other. I get angry when I hear defence lawyers raging on about collusion between victims. In the event that it becomes known that friends were also victims they leave it at that – they were abused. The last thing in the world they do is discuss the details of the abuse. I am hard-pressed to believe that lawyers – and judges – do not by now know as well as I that victims do not talk to each other about the details of their abuse. They do not like to talk about the abuse period.

    The attached video dates to 2011.

    Note that here is yet another priest who owned a cottage! Gosh, it seems that so many of them had cottages. Where did they get the money? Were the cottages bequeathed to them? I really don’t understand. How did any parish priest, with what in those days was a rather paltry salary, manage to round up the monies to buy a cottage?

    Anyway, good for you David Turrill and Denis Robert for speaking at a press conference! Well done!

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