In a statement of claim filed in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, Todd Boland alleged former Bishop Raymond Lahey fondled him over his clothes, and that the abuse happened on numerous occasions over several years. The abuse is alleged to have happened in the mid 1980s when Boland was a resident at the infamous Mount Cashel orphanage.
The statement of claim is brought against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John’s.
Boland’s lawyer, Greg Stack, said the child pornography charges laid earlier this year may have helped spur Boland to come forward.
“An awful lot of victims of sexual abuse just try to bury it in their subconscious,” Stack said. “Any priest or figure like that is a godlike figure, I suppose, having been brought up Roman Catholic.”
Lahey, the vicar general of St. John’s at the time, allegedly took Boland on car rides around the city, and allowed the 10-year-old boy to sit on his lap and steer the car.
“The boy was sitting facing forward, the priest was sitting facing forward underneath him, and there was sexual arousal present (by Lahey), according to the complainant,” Stack said. “The sexual abuse itself, it would be at the lower end of the scale, except that it was the vicar general who was doing it to this young impressionable boy.”
Lahey was charged in September with importing child pornography after he was stopped and searched coming back on a flight from Britain.
When he was charged, he stepped down from his position as the bishop for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish, N.S.
Before moving to Nova Scotia Lahey lived in Newfoundland, and served as the bishop of St. Georges in western Newfoundland.
Boland is currently serving time in a federal prison for a series of break-ins he committed.
Stack said Boland’s criminal behaviour could be traced back to the abuse he allegedly suffered as a child.
“That effects (victims) in an awful lot of ways, and makes them mistrust authorities, makes them want to act out,” Stack said. “There are a significant number that do act out, and psychiatrists have told us it’s often a reaction to the abuse by an ultimate authority figure.”
Former bishop Lahey accused of abuse
Former Mount Cashel resident claims Raymond Lahey abused him in 1980s
Last Updated: Thursday, April 8, 2010 | 4:32 PM NT
In a statement of claim filed in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, Todd Boland alleges he was abused by Raymond Lahey, the former bishop of the diocese of Antigonish in Nova Scotia who resigned last September.
Lahey was a priest in Newfoundland and Labrador before moving to Nova Scotia. According to the claim, Boland was abused several times over four years in the early 1980s while he was at Mount Cashel. The accusations include simulated anal intercourse and fondling.
Boland’s lawyer, Greg Stack, described in an interview with CBC News what Boland alleges happened.
“At the time, Monsignor Lahey would take him for an outing, as members of the clergy sometimes did, and that’s when the abuse allegedly occurred,” said Stack.
Over the following two decades, Lahey rose through the ranks in the Roman Catholic Church, eventually becoming a bishop.
In September, police in Ottawa found pornographic images of boys on Lahey’s laptop.
Another man, who was a Mount Cashel resident in the 1950s, said he’s not surprised by the new allegations.
James Bryne said that when one charge is laid, victims start speaking up.
“They have to make a lot of hard and difficult choices about coming forward, and in a lot of cases they may have families, young kids and it may take years,” said Byrne.
The civil suit against Raymond Lahey also names the Catholic Archdiocese of St John’s.
Neither has filed a response in court, and no criminal charges have been laid.
Since stepping down from his post in Nova Scotia, Lahey has remained in Ottawa, where he will stand trial on the pornography charges.
Nfld. resident claims Raymond Lahey abused him in the 1980sPublished On Thu Apr 8 2010
08 April 2010
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A bishop facing child pornography charges in Ontario is accused in a lawsuit of sexually assaulting a young boy who lived at the notorious Mount Cashel orphanage in St. John’s, N.L.
A statement of claim filed Wednesday in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador accuses Raymond Lahey of simulated anal intercourse and fondling between 1982 and 1985.
The civil lawsuit alleges the plaintiff first met Lahey in 1982 when he served as a Roman Catholic pastoral priest at the orphanage.
Over the next four years, Lahey “frequently took the plaintiff on outings in and around the city of St. John’s,” says the statement of claim. Those trips “included, but were not limited to, fishing and the like,” it says.
None of the allegations made in the statement of claim has been proven in court. Statements of defence have not been filed with the court.
A lawyer representing Lahey on the child pornography charges in Ottawa declined comment. A spokesman for the Catholic Archdiocese of St. John’s, which is also named in the lawsuit, could not be reached for comment.
The Mount Cashel orphanage was closed in 1990 amid a harrowing scandal of sexual abuse by Christian Brothers. Lahey was never charged in connection with Mount Cashel.
Lahey resigned as head of the Catholic diocese of Antigonish in Nova Scotia after he was charged in September with possessing and importing child pornography after border agents examined his laptop at the Ottawa airport.
Lahey and the Catholic Archdiocese of St. John’s are named as defendants in the suit, which seeks damages for pain, mental suffering, humiliation and loss of enjoyment of life.
The claim accuses the archdiocese and a former archbishop of negligence and “failure to protect the plaintiff from (Lahey), having been aware that the plaintiff, as a young boy, was vulnerable to the attentions and influence of (Lahey).”
The plaintiff asserts that the archdiocese “knew, or ought to have known” about the alleged sexual misconduct.
He also accuses them of “failure to properly supervise and to give proper guidance, direction, and control to their employee” and “failure to take proper and reasonable steps to ensure that its priests were adequately screened prior to being placed in positions where they would be left alone with children and young persons.”
Lahey is a native of Newfoundland and Labrador who once served as a professor of theology at Memorial University in St. John’s.
Lahey was in the news last August when he announced the settlement of a class-action lawsuit aimed at compensating anyone who was allegedly and known to have been sexually assaulted by a priest of the Catholic Episcopal Corp. of Antigonish since Jan. 1, 1950.
Lahey is to stand trial on the child pornography charges in Ottawa next April.