A week off at the Weave Shed.
Jason Tyo, victim of Jean Luc Leblanc (bus driver), took the stand yesterday afternoon (Thursday 19 October 2006). His examination in chief has concluded; cross examination is pending – at 2 pm on Monday 30 October 2006.
And so we just keep chugging along falling farther and farther behind the constantly revised schedule as we go. Someone anticipated, for example, that this week would see Jason’s testimony concluded and that of teacher Dawn Raymond at least commenced, if not concluded.
Someone, it seems, is not too good at guesstimating the time required to conduct an exam in chief and cross-examination with each witness. This is an ordeal for the victims and their families as is, never mind the added stress of rescheduling their testimony.
Chaos reigns! Now a few words about Jason Tyo’s testimony.
First let me point out that there is there is a discrepancy between the dates on Jason’s affidavit and the dates entered into evidence. According to evidence at the inquiry Jason’s abuse at the hands of Jean Luc Leblanc began in 1985 when he was 12 or thirteen, not, it seems, in 1981 at age nine.
I will do a point format of a few things which stood out yesterday and conclude with a bit of catch-up from Alain Seguin’s testimony of 17 October.
Jason Tyo’s testimony
(1) Jason was born in April 1972. He was molested in two different instances for prolonged periods by Jean Luc Leblanc, the first started when Jason was around 12 and lasted for about a year, the second started when he was about 14 and lasted until he was 16 or 17.
The molestation was accompanied by the familiar gifts: money, alcohol, clothing, a bike, restaurant meals and trips. Jason was told not to tell.
(2) Jason wanted the abuse to stop. Sometime on a Friday evening in January 1986 he called Children’s Aid for help.
It seems there was no immediate response. Jason was abused again over the weekend. A few days later he told a trusted teacher that Scott and Jody Burgess were being molested by Leblanc. He then admitted that he too was being abused
(2) In the Fall of 1986 Jean Luc Leblanc pled guilty to two counts of gross indecency.
It should have been three. The Crown attorney of the day dropped the Scott Burgess’ charges. Subsequently instead of moving forward with charges from three young victims the Crown agreed, for whatever reason, to cut one and go forward with two.
Then, according to court documents, when it came to the sentencing hearing the Crown felt the fact that Leblanc did not hold a position of trust and that the victims were willing participants should be taken into account!!
Can you believe it? Willing participants? These are 12 & 13-year old boys! !
Leblanc was given probation: period! No jail time. Probation.
Tolerance won the day!! Leblanc was as free as a bird!!!
(3) In 1987 at age 14 Jason “got sucked back into that hole” as he put it when Leblanc encountered him at work. The abuse resumed and continued for several years until Jason brought it to an end.
Leblanc, as you have deduced, was on probation!
(4) In 1999 an OPP officer with the Project Truth probe into allegations of a paedophile ring and cover-up in Cornwall contacted Jason.
In June 2001 Jean Luc Leblanc pled guilty to 12 counts of sexual abuse against ten boys.
In the latter Jason’s buggery charge against Leblanc was plea bargained down to the lesser charge of attempted buggery. As Jason testified yesterday “it was buggery,” it wasn’t attempted buggery.
Leblanc pled guilty. He was declared a dangerous offender and sentenced to something like eight or ten years in jail.
One year for each raped and tortured soul. Tell me that’s enough!
(5) Jason became an abuser himself. He has been charged and convicted. He currently receives treatment and sees Dr. Bradford at the Royal Ottawa Hospital. (This would be the same department at the ROH which categorized Alain Seguin’s abuse as a 12-year-old boy as “a homosexual relationship.”)
(6) Project Truth officers referred Jason to the Men’s Project. Jason testified that he was denied counselling with the group because he was an abuser himself.
(7) In this non-Project Truth inquiry in which the commissioner has already determined that the “rumour” and “innuendo” swirling around Cornwall on his arrival are false Mr. Engelmann posed The Perry Dunlop Question. It went like this:
MR. ENGELMANN: There were a couple of questions I neglected to ask you and sometimes you find out about those things from the funniest of places.[the Standard Freeholder I believe]
Mr. Burgess, I want to simply ask you if you had any dealings with respect to your complaint of child sexual abuse — if you had any dealings at all with a Mr.Perry Dunlop? MR. BURGESS: No.
MR. ENGELMANN: Do you know a Mr. Perry Dunlop or know who that is? MR. BURGESS: No, I don’t. MR. ENGELMANN: Did you have any dealings with Helen Dunlop?
MR. BURGESS: No.
MR. ENGELMANN: Carson Chisholm?
MR. BURGESS: No.
MR. ENGELMANN: Charles Bourgeois? MR. BURGESS: No.
MR. ENGELMANN: Ron Leroux? MR. BURGESS: No.
MR. ENGELMANN: Do you know — MR. BURGESS: I don’t know any of them.
MR. ENGELMANN: Okay. That’s fine.
So there you have it. The burning question to a victim of historical sexual abuse: Do you know Perry Dunlop?
What a heartbreaking despicable mess.
I will close off with a few key words from Alain Seguin regarding the mandate and the problem in Cornwall
MR. A. SEGUIN: Well, Justice Glaude, you know, it’s hard to make connections between one institution and another, you know. Sometimes these things are done
much more on a personal basis. THE COMMISSIONER: M’hm.
MR. A. SEGUIN: Like one person could have been a very good friend of another person and each of them being part of different institutions. But you know, “I will invite you over to my house and we will discuss some things” or “I will ask you for a favour.” I think that this Inquiry should have looked into personal relationships as much as relationships between institutions.
. . . . . .
I feel that the victims could have been much more a part of the Inquiry process in the way of formulating the guidelines. THE COMMISSIONER: M’hm.
MR. A. SEGUIN: Actually I feel that they should have been. I know that personally I requested that of Mr. Bryant and I did that on behalf of many victims in Cornwall.
…I think that some of those personal relationships affected the process of justice in a lot of these cases but that can’t be investigated when you’re talking strictly about institutions. I mean, you won’t send your investigators down to investigate a personal relationship. You want them to keep it towards institutions.
The problem that brought us here today is the same one faced by Larry Seguin, the first person through here, when he had to go write to his MPP. It’s the same problem that Mrs. Lise Brisson spoke of when she went to the media and it’s the same problem that drove Perry Dunlop to take the actions that he did.
So prevailing was this unwillingness to act that it actually developed an attitude of reckless disregard among our leaders on this issue. You are being shown that this reckless disregard by our leaders and institutions led to perpetrating teachers, priests and other professionals that led to these molesters being allowed to move on and to abuse more children rather than being stopped.
Well said Alain!
And that’s enough for now,