How many victims are enough? That’s the question which has been rattling around in my mind for the past few years. How many victims/”alleged” victims have to ‘come forward’ before police decide a paedophile is on the loose? or that charges How many charges might be warranted? How many victims have to come forward before police and Crown attorneys decide children are at risk?
I shouldn’t be surprised, but I still can’t believe what I’m hearing.
Marc Latour testified yesterday that he first went to police in 2000 with sex abuse allegations against Gilf Greggain, his Grade 3 teacher at St. Peter’s elementary school in Cornwall. Because of ill health and stress he decided for a spell not to proceed. I get the impression that when Marc pulled back the police shelved the file! And that was it for about a year when Marc returned to proceed again. At the end of the day Greggain allegedly denied the allegations and refused to take a polygraph. There was presumably no corroboration so, ….no charges. Greggain’s denial trumped Marc’s allegations and that was that.
But read this. This is how Marc Latour related the conversation which transpired between he and Jeff Carroll (the investigating officer with the Cornwall Police Service) after Carroll told him Greggain would not be charged. I will pick up right after Marc said he was told that Greggain refused to take a polygraph:
I told him [Carroll], “Well, I can see why.” And then he just said, “Well, it not necessarily has to do with you and about this. Maybe he wants to hide something else.” Now, these are the words Jeff told me, and I told Jeff, “Well, I’m prepared to take a polygraph test right now”. But he said, “No, Marc, that’s not necessary. I believe you.”
So he said some big shot lawyer had called and stay off his case. So I wasn’t too happy about this, and I asked Jeff, “Well, then if you’re not going to charge Gilf Greggain for what he did to me, well then I must be lying and you’ll have to charge me. I can’t go around accusing people doing things like this, you know.”
But I couldn’t understand. I was upset at the time that, you know, he wasn’t charging Greggain and then he wouldn’t charge me.
Who’s the “big shot lawyer” I wonder? Will we find out?
Anyway, according to Marc at some point Carroll said he would discuss things with the Crown attorney (Murray MacDonald?) and would get back to Marc. And that was the last Marc heard of it.
No charges were laid!
Notice that the investigating officer presumably believed Marc Latour had been sexually molested as a child by his school teacher, Gilf Greggain. But, if indeed Carroll did believe him, that apparently wasn’t enough to lay charges!!
Other testimony indicated that Carroll was told that Greggain had been seen with a group of mentally handicapped children. But, vulnerable children at risk or no, no charges.
I have no idea what the Crown had to say about the matter. Did he recommend charges should be laid because children were at risk? If he did, why no charges? If, on the other hand and for whatever reason the Crown was reluctant to proceed did Carroll try assure him that Marc Latour was a credible witness and charges should be laid? And if not, why not?
Perhaps we’ll find out more today.
And speaking of the mentally handicapped children, another interesting exchange.
Marc had just testified that he had told Carroll, the investigating officer, that he saw Greggain with a group of mentally handicapped children. Here’s what happened after that …
MR. ENGELMANN: All right.
So you recall actually telling Jeff Carroll that?
MR. LATOUR: Yes, I do.
MR. ENGELMANN: All right.
THE COMMISSIONER: I’m sorry. I didn’t quite understand. Were you worried for these children?
MR. LATOUR: Pardon?
THE COMMISSIONER: Were you worried for these children?
MR. LATOUR: At the time, yes.
THE COMMISSIONER: And why for?
MR. LATOUR: Oh, I know what he did to me.
“Why for?” Can you believe it? What a question! Why would Marc worry about those children being in the company of his own “alleged” molester?
Marc had no difficulty justifying his concerns!
I won’t go too deeply into John Callaghan’s mini eruption right now. I think yesterday’s outburst was probably Part I and I would guess that Part II is pending. Enough to say Callaghan can become extremely passionate when there is a shred of evidence or whiff testimony which might cast a pall over the institutional response of his client – the Cornwall Police Service – to allegations of sexual abuse. Yesterday, the passion entailed his certitude that Jeff Carroll did not know that Marc’s classroom was filled with children when a female teacher came in waving a yardstick or a pointer at Greggain, announcing she was going to report him to the School Board and warning him: “If you ever hurt Marc or any child again, I will beat you to the ground like the dog you are.”
I suppose children in that classroom way back in the 60s would be able to corroborate parts of Marc’s story in the early 2000s. And I do believe common sense says that if an investigating officer knew or suspected there were children in the classroom he would have attempted to track them down to corroborate Marc’s story? And, I would think if there was a question of the presence or lack of children in the classroom an investigating officer worth his salt would attempt to clarify the matter?
Did he or didn’t he? I don’t know. But John Callaghan certainly wants it on the record that Marc’s testimony of the event yesterday was more detailed than before, and that Marc’s interviews in early 2000 do not indicate the presence of other children in the classroom. How Callaghan deduced that from the excerpts of transcripts which were read into the record I have no idea, but, …..
There will without shadow of doubt be more on this today 🙂
Hearings resume at 09:30 am this morning (27 March 200)
Steve Parisien appeared in the Cornwall courthouse yesterday morning (26 March 2007). He asked for and got a remand until 30 April 2007 to raise some funds and find a lawyer – a “damn good” one I hope :).
Enough for now,