Straight from the heart

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Hearings resume at 09:30 am this morning (Tuesday 21 August 2007). Keith Ouellette will resume his examination in chief. A victim with the moniker C-8 is scheduled to take the stand after Keith finishes. Whether or not that happens rests on how much longer Keith’s exam in chief will take and how “vigorous” the various implicated parties will be in their cross-examination. We shall see.

I must say that Keith has certainly held his own yesterday. As he said, he’s been waiting for the chance to do this for 35 years. He is relishing the opportunity to say what he has to say and is saying it well.

Born 13 March 1954 and adopted as a little boy Keith, like so many male victims of same-sex sexual abuse has led a stormy troubled life: molested by several men; on drugs in his early teens; in and out of trouble with the law for such things as drugs and stealing money from Church collections; in and out of jail; on and off probation or parole; attempted suicide in his early teens; and, confused about his sexual identity.
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We have only heard about two hours of Keith’s very candid testimony. Here is a brief recap of his allegations:

(1) Richard Ouellette:

Molested by his adoptive brother Richard Ouellette. Testified Richard was molesting other children in the neighbourhood as well. Charges were never laid.

(2) Ken Seguin:

Molested by his probation officer Ken Seguin.

If Keith didn’t comply sexually Seguin threatened him with revoke of parole.

Charges were never laid.

Seguin set up a meeting for Keith to go to Canada Manpower to look for work. Seguin got probation officer Nelson Barque to drive Keith over to Manpower. He felt that Seguin forced him to go. Barque introduced him to Richard Hickerson.

(3) Richard Hickerson

Molested by Canada Manpower employee Richard Hickerson. (Hickerson was an ex-priest. It is known that while he was a priest he was molesting altar boys in the Diocese of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan)

Hickerson used to go to Keith’s home – he got know Keith’s parents and would join them for supper.

Hickerson took him to the same locations Ken Seguin frequented. It wasn’t clarified but I understood him to mean that these were the areas he was molested.

Hickerson committed suicide shortly after he was interviewed by Project Truth officers re sexual abuse of boys.

(4) Chris Wilson:

Sexually harassed and sexual attacked by Chris Wilson, a theatrical manager at St. Lawrence College. The allegations were investigated but no charges laid because assistant Crown Alain Godin decided there was an issue of consent which was problematic. (Keith believes charges should have been laid. He testified he was drugged, blacked out and woke up naked in bed. He also testified that Wilson had previously been charged with buggery and had also made sexual overtures to some of his, Keith’s, friends)

Later Keith had a sexual relationship with Wilson. He testified this relationship was “consensual” but explained that it transpired “after I was corrupted.” At that time in his life he said he was suffering from a loss of identity and lack of self worth – he questioned his sexuality and wanted to find out if he was “gay” or “bisexual” or whatever.

(5) Police Threats

Tried at some point to report his allegations against Hickerson and Seguin to police. One day two Cornwall city police officers came and picked him, put him I the cruiser, took him to the police station, put him into a room, and had an oak desk pushed up against him. Keith was then told if he ever said a word against Ken Seguin, Richard Hickerson and others again he’d have two bullets put in his brain.

Hang in there Keith.

****

I asked for and received permission to share the following email with you. It’s a reminder that there are others out there, who, at great personal cost, like Perry and Helen Dunlop, are fighting an often lonely and discouraging battle to see justice done and children protected. We must keep them in our prayers.

From: Mike Laughlin
To: cornwall@theinquiry.ca
Sent: Friday, August 17, 2007 2:30 PM
Subject: The Case

I have been reading about this case with some interest as I too made the difficult decision to be a whistleblower against my church of 4500 members and the largest in the denomination in the state of Washington (USA). I know first hand what it means to move forward in the face of a church’s denial, minimization and ignorance. Its made me tough, but at the same time it takes on a life of its own….you feel driven and empowered as if nothing can stop you in uncovering the truth yet it drains you of your spirit at the same time. You move forward always by yourself as if it is your life work and nothing else matters. You are angry about it day and night and though you wished it was over there there has to be justice. I have reached a point after almost 3 years having gone through every hurdle in my denomination that I need to let this go before it completely consumes me. I’ve almost reached that point already. I have no doubt that what I’ve done so far has been the right thing, but I’ve paid a price for it that no one could even begin to understand except for folks like Perry Dunlop and his wife. I’m writing this in hopes that they read this and know there are others like them that are waging the same battles.

Mike Laughlin
Seattle, Wa.

Isn’t that something? Straight from the heart.

There you go Perry and Helen. From Seattle, Washington. Someone who knows as few do what it’s like and understands what you’ve been through.

No more needs be said.

But, no, I must say one more thing: as much as I don’t wish the battle on anyone, I thank God there are “whistle blowers” like Mike, and Perry and Helen with the courage of their convictions. May God bless, protect and strengthen them always, and comfort them and give them peace when the going gets particularly tough.
Enough for now,

Sylvia

(cornwall@theinquiry.ca)

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1 Response to Straight from the heart

  1. Myomy says:

    Amen to your prayer Sylvia. May God bless, protect and strengthen these whistle blowers always. And to the whistle blowers remember the Lord’s promise, the last shall be first and the first shall be last. This promise may not be fulfilled in this world but it will be fulfilled.

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