Another recanting witness?

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Hearings resume at 0930 hours (9:30 am) this morning, Wednesday 23 January 2008. Sue Lariviere, who worked intermittently in the Cornwall probation office from 1990, will return to resume her testimony.

Several things I want to touch upon:

(1) Sue Lariviere’s testimony has been interrupted by a challenge from David Sherrif-Scott (the diocese/Bishop Paul Andre Durocher). Sheriff-Scott claims evidence regarding probationers sex abuse disclosure to probation officers after 14 April 2005, the date of the commissioning of the Cornwall Public Inquiry, is beyond the “cut-off” and therefore beyond the scope of the mandate.

According to Sheriff-Scott, 14 April 2005 is the cut off date and, according to him, commission counsel argued in that vein in the recent appeals by Ontario Provincial Police to Ontario Divisional Court and the Ontario Court of Appeal protesting Justice Glaude’s decision to hear testimony of a woman who alleges she was raped by two teenage boys (age 16 and 17) when she was 16.

In the first instance Ontario Divisional court overturned Justice Glaude’s decision that the woman (and her mother) should testify. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) appealed to the Court of Appeal. The justices of the Court of Appeal unanimously overturned the Divisional court’s decision and, in so doing, soundly rapped Glaude’s knuckles.

Lariviere’s testimony was about to enter into the realm of the sex abuse disclosures when this latest protest arose regarding probationers’ disclosures. Sheriff-Scott’s protest was buttressed by protest from lawyers representing major institutions implicated in the Cornwall sex abuse scandal and cover-up, i.e., Cornwall Police Services, Ontario Provincial Police, Ontario Provincial Police Association, and the Ministry of the Attorney General.

Lawyers for Citizens for Community Renewal, the Coalition for Action and the Victims Group are arguing that the evidence should be heard.

We move from one mess to another. What Justice Glaude is or is not the mandated to do and the interpretations of one and all of the mandate is the nub of so many of these problems. It’s getting beyond ridiculous. At this late hour there is no consensus on definition of terms and what exactly the mandate mandates.

As I said yesterday I do believe names of diocesan clergy must have been disclosed after 14 April 2005 and are about to be entered into evidence. Why else would Bishop Durocher sic Sheriff-Scott to thwart this evidence?

(2) The probationer who refused to continue what boils down to a ‘work’ placement with Father Charlie’s in 1976 is not C-10. Jos van Diepen testified that Nelson Barque recommended the placement for the 17-year-old. Within a week the lad was back telling van Diepen he would not go back because Charlie was “queer”and liked little boys. The unidentified lad also said he awoke in the middle of the night to find Charlie sitting on his bed. According to van Diepen’s earlier testimony the lad refused to say anymore. Van Diepen testified he attempted several times to find out what happened without success. You may also recall that after a weekend chatting to who knows who, and seeking answers from none other Michael Neville (Father Charles MacDonald’s lawyer) van Diepen returned to the stand Monday anxious to set the record straight saying with great certitude : “There was no inappropriate sexual behaviour to report.” “There was never any inappropriate behaviour.”

He could not substantiate his certitude.

Van Diepen said the work placement was at the rectory at St. Raphael’s. He must have been mistaken on the locale because Father Charlie never served at St. Raphael’s and in fact in that time frame was pastor at St. Anthony’s in Apple Hill.

Now, something very interesting which seems to relate to this event.

Many months ago I was told about a rather bizarre scenario which played itself out in the Cornwall courtroom in the mid 70s. I have since learned that it was 1976.

Judge Fitpatrick was on the bench. A young man was called forward before the judge. He was allegedly very emotional and visibly upset. He told Fitzpatrick something to the effect that he was not going back to the rectory in Apple Hill, he would never go back to that Hell-hole and made some mention of the priest being a queer SOB. The lad’s exact words are unknown, but that apparently is the general gist of what he said. Apparently it was quite an outburst.

The courtroom observer present that day told me the lad was whipped out of there in a flash.

Same boy? Possibly. Perhaps there is something in the court records? Or, perhaps not?!!

Was Jos van Diepen in the courtroom that day?

Bottom of the line here is that it seems there is someone else in a position of authority who knew there was possibly something amiss with Father Charlie: Judge Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatirck’s name has surfaced in the past.

(2) Under cross-examination by Micheal Neville Jos van Diepen seemed to concur with the proposal that the story about sodomy at a dinner party was rumour and innuendo.

Later, as his testimony was wrapping up, van Diepen’s lawyer John Westdal, asked van Diepen to clarify. Van Diepen replied:

I have no — I have no – I don’t know whether or not that actually took place or not, but I — I now believe that it may not — that may not have actually happened.

Where did that come from? What knowledge does van Diepen now have which would lead him to conclude that David Silmser was not sodomised by Father Charlie during a dinner party and that Ken Seguin did nothing about it?

Once upon a time van Diepen seemed to trust what was apparently a first hand account of from a friend at a dinner party. Now this?

Passing strange I’d say. Another recanting witness?

What’s going on?

(3) Not much about the unanimous decision from the Ontario Court of Appeal. Lead counsel Peter Engelmann made passing reference to it yesterday afternoon. Commission counsel are looking at. It will be addressed later in the week.

My guess is Justice Glaude et al are considering appealing the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada, not because the witness is vital but because there’s a matter of judicial pride and reputation at stake.

We shall see.

(4) On 21 January 2008 we heard that Guy Demarco, a local lawyer working in the Crown attorney’s office, was a great friend of Father Charlie. I believe the Crown at the time was Don Johnson.

I am told that Demarco was involved in the Cursillo movement, a Roman Catholic ‘renewal’ movement which, in Cornwall, for years was led in by Charlie.

Regardless Guy Demarco is now Justice Guy Demarco. Like Justice Normand Glaude Demarco is a judge with the Ontario Court of Justice.


I will get this up and add links later.

And that’s enough for now….



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1 Response to Another recanting witness?

  1. Myomy says:

    Jos van Diepen is always wanting to change his testimony so it would be interesting to know how this blog would jog his memory. Is there any mechanism at the inquiry to access church records and verify the times and places of Charlie’s appointments and this lead which suggests that records exist to fill in the blanks in this story.

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