Victim Impact Statement by Denis Beland
WILLIAM HODGSON MARSHALL you were 47 years old and I was but 12 years old when you commenced stealing from me. You were the venerated teacher-priest and vice-principal and I was but a vulnerable fatherless boy from a poor family. That which you stole from me would create permanent, irreversible damage to my psyche.
Until I met you, I was a model student with no behavioural problems whatsoever. I had already skipped Grade 3 completely and graduated with the highest Grade 8 average with only 1.2 points separating this very bright group of 12. The elementary school had me I.Q. tested and it was the highest score they had ever seen. I had won every major contest or academic award.
I was an altar boy for many years. I knew a great many priests from having served masses, baptisms, first communions, confirmations and funerals. I had a good and normal relationship with priests. Not one of them ever did anything untoward me. Just you, WILLIAM HODGSON MARSHALL.
As a youth, I was the most industrious in my peer group. I had a newspaper route, picked and sold blueberries and cranberries, had a profitable Christmas card business and sold hockey pools for the Catholic Women’s League. I also sold St. Christopher medallions for the Catholic school fundraisers. I played competitive travelling hockey. I was a “sixer” in our local Boy Scout Pack. I had a great many friends.
All of these going concerns would suddenly stop as if a high speed vehicle hit a rock cut dead on. All along I had been telling schoolmates and classmates what you had been doing to me. When I told another teacher-priest what you were doing to me, in a matter of days my life as I knew it would have a downward spiral, completely out of control.
You deflected the pedophilic accusations by painting me a troublesome student that was mentally unstable. Your PEERS expelled me from the school because I had caused so much trouble by telling other students and other parents what you were doing to me. My own Mother would eventually believe your story:
First-My mother tried to place me in a juvenile detention center, but I had committed no crime;
Second –She tried to place me in a mental health facility, but the psychiatrist said there was nothing wrong with me;
Third-We went to our family doctor to get a prescription for tranquilizers. The doctor refused to prescribe these as he felt that there was nothing wrong with me but did suggest that my mother should go to the police.
In the end, just weeks later, I had to leave all those industrious works that I was doing. I had to leave my brothers and sisters, my mother, my friends, my hockey team, my scouting troop, my HOME to go live in a new city hundreds of miles away to finish my grade 10. This decision caused a great and permanent rift in our family unit, much of which still exists today. I returned to Sudbury several years later and finished Grade 13 at another high school. WILLIAM HODGSON MARSHALL, my reporting your crimes, caused me to be sent to the gulag.
That essential life-maintaining ingredient that you stole from me WILLIAM HODGSON MARSHALL would cause sudden catastrophic physical illnesses, I had several anorexias by the time I was only 35 years old where I lost 35-40% of my body mass in less than 90 days. I’ve had pneumonias and pleural effusions only seen in elderly men on the African continent. I’ve never been to Africa. As a result of these freakish illnesses I’ve developed Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary illnesses and a host of stress related diseases. I have no less than 25 treating physicians-most of them specialists-in the last 25 years trying to come up with a chemical cornucopia of prescription medicines to replace that essential ingredient which you WILLIAM HODGSON MARSHALL stole from me. So far these brilliant women and men have had little success.
I entered counselling voluntarily with a psychiatrist in 1986 until present. My visits are monthly or quarterly. For approximately one third of this time I paid for this counselling privately. I have also attended many programs over the years, from personal counselling, marriage counselling to anger management. I have had long periods of sobriety from drugs and alcohol, but from time to time abused both. I have a fairly extensive criminal record and but for two charges, ALL of the others are directly attributed to intervening between a terrorizing bully and a child.
These interventions are almost subconscious and emotionless-the grip of fear, that someone might harm this child. The health care providers almost unanimously attribute this reaction to the child sexual abuse received from WILLIAM HODGSON MARSHALL. My own family members began to be afraid of me on the occasion of witnessing an intervention. I have sought out different opinions from psychiatrists in London, two different firms in Toronto. However, they concur with their colleagues in Sudbury. I have paid out of my own pocket, visits with several clinical psychologists and they too found nothing new.
It would take my mother eleven years to realize that what I had told her about you was true. But this arose from other information she had received. Our relationship would be tenuous until her death.
After all of these years, there has only been this one situation in my life needing to be resolved. The only blemish on my integrity, the only scar on my dignity and it has eaten away at my mind, as if some sort of cancer. This is what you stole from me WILLIAM HODGSON MARSHALL.
I have not worked as a professional financial planner since 1989, at which time I was recognized as one of the very best in Canada. I had an annual income in excess of $500,000. I am advised that I will never work again. I have a modest pension of $50,000. and absolutely no benefits — dental-prescription glasses-out of country travel-prescription drugs-prosthetics — all must be paid out of pocket. And my private pension terminates at age 65. The total income loss to date is approximately 11 million dollars. The loss to age 65 is approximately 17.5 million dollars.
WILLIAM HODGSON MARSHALL, what you stole from me was the delicate balance of a person’s psyche to function effectively. With that balance intact I was destined to achieve great things, the track was already set to run on. In it’s absence, I had difficulty leading a normal life. First friends, then immediate family drifted away and became distant. Professional colleagues would follow. I will need to be in psychotherapy until the day I die.
WILLIAM HODGSON MARSHALL, society will be a much safer place if you are barred from any contact with children schools, churches, playgrounds and sports facilities.