Updated: Former Windsor priest sentenced to house arrest for 6 months

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The Windsor Star

Mar 04, 2013 – 9:33 AM EST
Last Updated: Mar 04, 2013 – 4:40 PM EST

Sarah Sacheli

Demonstrators march in front of the Ontario Court of Justice, Monday, March 4, 2013 in Windsor, Ont. They assembled for the sentencing of retired priest William Hodgson Marshall.    (DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star)Demonstrators march in front of the Ontario Court of Justice, Monday, March 4, 2013 in Windsor, Ont. They assembled for the sentencing of retired priest William Hodgson Marshall. (DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star)

William Hodgson Marshall, the disgraced former Catholic priest who sexually abused children for decades, has been sentenced to six months of house arrest after pleading guilty in Ontario court Monday morning to the sexual assault of two victims in Saskatchewan in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Marshall will serve the sentence at the Cardinal Flahiff Basilian Centre in Toronto, where he currently resides.

Marshall, who is on parole after his conviction for the sexual assaults of 17 other victims in Windsor, Sudbury and Toronto, told the judge he is “not a monster” after he was asked if he had anything to say before being sentenced.

“I pray for these kids everyday,” Marshall added.

Marshall, 90, was sentenced in June 2011 to two years in a federal penitentiary. He has been on parole since October. Defence lawyer Andrew Bradie said, because the Saskatechewan charges were still before the courts, Marshall’s parole was delayed for five months.

That delay should count toward his sentence on these charges, Bradie argued.  He said, had the Saskatchewan abuses been known at the time of  Marshall’s 2011 sentencing, the charges would have been rolled into his sentence.

But assistant Crown attorney George Spartinos said Marshall’s case calls for real jail, not house arrest.

“He’s not in a position to commit further offenced, but the courts have said this type of behaviour needs to be denounced.”

The courtroom was packed with Marshall’s other victims and victims of other priests. More than 70 of them gathered outside the courthouse before the hearing began.  The protesters carried placards bearing slogans like ‘Sex Crime = Real Time’ and ‘Stop the secrets — Speak out against sexual abuse.’

Marshall, a Basilian priest and former Windsor high school teacher, was sentenced in June of 2011 to two years in prison for sexually abusing 16 boys and one woman at Catholic high schools across Ontario.

Rev. William Hodgson Marshall makes his way to the Superior Court building in Windsor, Ont. in this June 2011 file photo. (Dan Janisse / The Windsor Star)

Rev. William Hodgson Marshall makes his way to the Superior Court building in Windsor, Ont. in this June 2011 file photo. (Dan Janisse / The Windsor Star)

The incidents happened in Toronto, Sudbury and Windsor over more than three decades — from 1952 to 1985.

In Windsor, Marshall was a teacher, sports coach and eventually principal at Assumption and Holy Names high schools.

He pleaded guilty to the charges.

Inside the courtroom, Marshall pleaded guilty to abusing two teenaged boys  in Saskatchewan in 1959 and 1961. Marshall was a gym teacher at an all-boys’ school in Saskatoon. The two instances of abuse involved Marshall groping the two boys’ genitals.

More to come.

%name Updated: Former Windsor priest sentenced to house arrest for 6 months

Demonstrators Turn Out For Priest Sentencing

A demonstrator is pictured in front of the Ontario Court of Justice, Monday, March 4, 2013 in Windsor, Ont. They assembled for the sentencing of retired priest William Hodgson Marshall.    (DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star)

A demonstrator is pictured in front of the Ontario Court of Justice, Monday, March 4, 2013 in Windsor, Ont. They assembled for the sentencing of retired priest William Hodgson Marshall. (DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star)

Patrick McMahon shouts to fellow demonstrators in front of the Ontario Court of Justice, Monday, March 4, 2013 in Windsor, Ont. They assembled for the sentencing of retired priest William Hodgson Marshall. McMahon described himself as a victim of Hodgson Marshall.    (DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star)

Patrick McMahon shouts to fellow demonstrators in front of the Ontario Court of Justice, Monday, March 4, 2013 in Windsor, Ont. They assembled for the sentencing of retired priest William Hodgson Marshall. McMahon described himself as a victim of Hodgson Marshall. (DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star)

Brenda Brunelle, leader of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) organization, gets a hug from a fellow demonstrator in front of the Ontario Court of Justice, Monday, March 4, 2013 in Windsor, Ont. They assembled for the sentencing of retired priest William Hodgson Marshall.    (DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star)

Brenda Brunelle, leader of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) organization, gets a hug from a fellow demonstrator in front of the Ontario Court of Justice, Monday, March 4, 2013 in Windsor, Ont. They assembled for the sentencing of retired priest William Hodgson Marshall. (DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star)

Demonstrators march in front of the Ontario Court of Justice, Monday, March 4, 2013 in Windsor, Ont. They assembled for the sentencing of retired priest William Hodgson Marshall.    (DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star)

Demonstrators march in front of the Ontario Court of Justice, Monday, March 4, 2013 in Windsor, Ont. They assembled for the sentencing of retired priest William Hodgson Marshall. (DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star)

Demonstrators march in front of the Ontario Court of Justice, Monday, March 4, 2013 in Windsor, Ont. They assembled for the sentencing of retired priest William Hodgson Marshall.    (DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star)

Demonstrators march in front of the Ontario Court of Justice, Monday, March 4, 2013 in Windsor, Ont. They assembled for the sentencing of retired priest William Hodgson Marshall. (DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star)

4 Responses to Updated: Former Windsor priest sentenced to house arrest for 6 months

  1. Sylvia says:

    There it is. “Tut. Tut. Bady boy!” Six months house arrest – for the rape of two souls.

    Marshall apparently said he is not a monster, and that “I pray for these kids every day.” They’re not kids any more Hod. They’re adults – adults who, since you got your hands on them, have lived their lives in a prison of shame and confusion. They’re adults who, thanks to you, have probably lost their faith.

    So, good, pray for your victims Hod. But, please don’t stand there in a courtroom amidst a throng of victims and their families and try to convince them that you’re not a monster.

    As for the assistant Crown’s claim that Father Marshall can do no damage now, does anyone remember the article about the 83-year-old priest in, I think, South America, who was not only molesting but videotaping the abuse? I think I recall the details properly – will try to dig it out later.

  2. 1yellowknife says:

    What an impressive protest-turnout! Great signage! Wish there were a photo category on this site to collect images of those bearing witness at the site of pedopriest trials and sentencing. These are powerful images

    • Brenda Brunelle says:

      1yellowknife, I have 300 +photos of todays events, I would be happy to share some key messages if you would like.

  3. PJ says:

    The sentences for these pervert collars are sooo wrong. Why is it perverts found guilty of molesting young children today or even possessing child porn get much longer sentences than these collars who have done the same or worse? They did it to children too! Just because the collar-abused “children” are now adults doesn’t mean the sentences should be so lenient. Many of the convicted collars were serial abusers yet their sentences were so minimal which leads me to think we are considered as NOTHING…NOTHING IMPORTANT to both the justice system and that church. These sentences hurt…and I’m afraid someday, someone who has an emotional meltdown caused by the miniscule importance placed on our abuse, will take matters into their own hands. Is that what it will take before people realize how unjust the system is? I pray that scenario never happens…

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