I posted a new page on Joseph Neuberger, one of the lawyers representing the Ontario Correctional Services at the Cornwall Public Inquiry. Neuberger’s task at the Weave Shed is to defend/justify/rationalize the “response” of his client, Correctional Services, to allegations of “historic” sexual abuse against those in his client’s employ, including, amongst others, probation officers Nelson Barque and Ken Seguin.
I put the word “historic” – or as Mr. Neuberger would say “so old” – in quotes because I must say I have difficulty with the prevailing notion that children are somehow safer and less at risk around a paedophile who molested ten or twenty years ago than they are around one who molested more recently. The bottom line is that paedophiles do what paedophiles do, and barring legal intervention as long as they’re out and about they tend to keep right on doing it. Does it matter when a victim was molested? If his molester is out and about children are at risk. They are not historically at risk. They are at risk. Period.
Are murderers charged for murders they committed ten or twenty or thirty years ago? Are those murders minimized by dubbing them “historic”? Why then the criminal double standard when it comes to dealing with the crimes committed by paedophiles?
That said, despite the fact that Correctional Services (Ontario Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services and Adult Community Corrections) has settled out of court with an untold number of victims, Mr. Neuberger has been retained to vindicate his client while no doubt simultaneously assuring the world that not one Correctional Service employee is or was ever connected to a paedophile ring, and/or that not one employee in general or the institution in particular had or has anything to do with executing a cover-up.
How vindication ensues after a raft of out of court settlement is beyond me. I know the line goes that the settlements are no acknowledgement of guilt or wrong-doing, but I just have difficulty accepting the fact that the government would endorse and justify squandering thousands upon thousands of dollars to silence victims who just really and truly aren’t victims.
Perhaps what it all boils down to is that settling out of court on allegations of sexual abuse by employees is one thing, facing potential legal action for obstruction of justice and/or conspiracy is another?
Whatever the plan, Mr. Neuberger has been retained by Correctional Services to do whatever job it is the institution believes needs to be done, and by whatever means a seasoned and creative defence lawyer has at his disposal.
It is to that end I posted Global Morning News, October 7, 2004 Neuberger’s Commentary on R.V. Brown, the 2004 sex abuse (“historic”) trial of one of a number of male teachers from the prestigious Upper Canada College, all charged with sexually molesting young boys at the college.
Watch the video. It’s quite amazing. Neuberger goes on about the allegations being “so old” and how what actually happened is replaced by what the victim “thought” happened. And he implies, as he did in the Let’s Pretend David Silmser is on the stand scenario, that memories will have failed. And he discusses mounting a defence by attacking the reliability of each witness. And he addresses the difficulty of a defence when, as with Brown, there are multiple victims, and he suggests that in such cases defence can look at “collusion.”
Amazing, isn’t it? Defence lawyers literally go in with a mind to discredit a witness. Not because the witness warrants it, but because in legal circles that’s seen as an ethical and acceptable defence to get a defendant off the hook. And not only that, it seems that they, the defence lawyers, literally determine willy nilly that when faced with multiple victims ready to testify it may be time to start looking at and howling “collusion” (read conspiracy) – not because there was pre-existing evidence of collusion among the victims, but just because in a “difficult” situation it might be a means to the end of exonerating their client …so, away they go to find it – spinning, fabricating, extrapolating, suggesting, theorizing, hypothesizing and parsing as they go. If perchance they happen upon two or more victims who happen to know each other, even if they are merely acqaintances, away goes the defence with its collusion theory.
Sound vaguely familiar? Those who endured the agony of the Jacques Leduc “trials” are well versed in this legal exercise. A victim’s emotionally distraught mother picked up the phone and called Perry Dunlop. That was enough. That was it. Collusion! CONSPIRACY!!!
Conspiracy. Collusion. It’s the trademark of the Cornwall sex abuse scandal and cover-up. Not collusion between lawyers, and judges, and bishops, and priests, and probation officers and paedohiles. No. The theoretic collusion between Perry Dunlop and everyone he ever met – victims, “alleged” victims, family, friends alike.
Do you realize we’ve been watching this little exercise play out again in the Weave Shed? Actually, truth be told we’ve been privy to watching both primary defence ploys play out: (1) discredit the witness and (2) imply collusion between victims, the Dunlops, and anyone who ever bumped into or rubbed shoulders with the Dunlops, their family or friends.
Do you see it? Can you see the tactics at play?
That’s why I found the Neuberger interview so fascinating. It’s not so much what he said, it’s simply that he said it!
Play the video.
Enough for now,