Hearings resume at 0930 hours (9:30 am) tomorrow morning, Wednesday, 07 June 2009. Don Johnson will return for cross-examination.
True enough, this is not getting any easier to stomach 🙁
Johnson’s memory is on par with virtually every other institutional witness – lots of I don’t recalls from Johnson, particularly in those cases where he was Crown and one paedophile or the other eluded charges.
Some points from Johnson’s testimony to date:
(1) Don Johnson was called to the Ontario bar in 1968. He spent two years as an assistant Crown in Toronto, and a further two years as a senior assistant Crown attorney in Sault Ste. Marie, and finally, in 1972 became acting Cornwall Crown and by 1974 was Cornwall Crown.
Note Johnson’s two year tenure in Sault Ste. Marie. That is part of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie. That caught my ear because there seems to have been considerable interaction over the years between the Dioceses of Sault Ste. Marie and Alexander-Cornwall.
(2) Johnson claims he remembers nothing about his involvement in the prosecutions of Nelson Barque or Jean Luc Leblanc in the 80s. He doesn’t know why in the latter, with four victims and sex abuse allegations spanning a number of years, a decision was made to only charge Leblanc with one charge per child. Nor does he know why no charge was laid on allegations of sodomy, but he thinks perhaps that may have been because it was felt the victim wouldn’t stand up well in court.
(3) In as much as Johnson frequently claimed he didn’t recall he seemed to get a little confused at times as to whether or not he actually recalled his documented involvement or not.
(4) As with all witnesses documents were provided by commission counsel to Johnson for his review prior to taking the stand. The idea is to refresh failing memories. Despite this, in about three instances when a document was put before him Johnson claimed he had never seen it before. In two such instances Glaude called a recess to allow Johnson time to read the documents to refresh his memory.
In each instance Johnson eventually admitted that he would have received the documents prior to taking the stand, and in one actually said he would probably have gone over it with Stephen Scharbeck, lawyer for the AG.
While Johnson retreated to review documents which he alleged he had never seen before but which as it turns out had actually been in his possess, and which he may have read and forgot he read, the clock ticked on
(7) Seems Johnson never considered the issue of consent when it came to allegations of sexual impropriety involving probation officer Nelson Barque and two probationers. Johnson claims he doesn’t recall the case, but he agrees it looks as though he did not consider the issue of consent when it came ot consideration of charges.
The allegations arose in 1982. One probationer was under age 21. The other had, by the sound of it, just turned 21, but, again by the sound of it, those allegations were from the previous year at which time the boy would not yet have been 21.
The incidents are referred to as homosexual relationships.
In 1982 all acts of buggery and gross indecency were illegal unless between consenting adults, and for the purposes of these sections of the criminal code that meant age 21 and over.
Barque was not charged. Despite the fact Barque admitted to the acts, and admitted they were initiated by him, it was agreed at the time by whomever that the fact that Barque resigned from his job as a probation officer was suffice.
(8) Much is made these days of the issue of “violence” as it relates to sexual abuse. It seems that somewhere along the line a decision was made by sex abuse gurus that if sexual abuse does not entail what someone construes as “violence” it is no big deal.
The issue of violence arose during Johnson’s examination in chief.
What I wonder constitutes “violence”? Who defines it?
That aside, since when is alright for a grown man to rob a child of his/her innocence? With or without “violence” the dastardly deed is done.
I will add to that. With or without violence it is never alright for an adult male to satiate his perverse sexual desires on the body of a child. Never. Ditto with or without consent.
(9) Is it just my imagination or does Justice Glaude tend to get overly short with commission lawyer Karen Jones, quite readily and frequently?
And does anyone else get the sense that sometimes when Jones presses enough to have a witness on the run Glaude steps in to do bail out? Seemed to me that’s the way it went at least twice in there today.
(10) According to Johnson former Cornwall Crown attorney Guy Demarco was very good friends with Tom O’Brien, the former Executive Director of CAS.
DeMarco, now a judge in the Windsor Ontario area, was also reported to be an extremely good friend of Father Charles MacDonald, and a good friend of Ken Seguin.
Was Tom O’Brien also a good friend of Charlie and Ken Seguin? I have no idea.
(11) Don Johnson appears to have anticipated he would spend one short day on stand. He had three appointment booked for 5 pm today so had to be gone by 4:15 pm. His exam in chief just finished. He will return tomorrow.
Johnson is not happy. Seems he was previously told he would be called to testify for two days in mid December. Seems he has lost a lot of income because of the inquiry.
So have countless others. Victims and “alleged”victims included.
(12) Johnson was a member of the Child Abuse Prevention Council back in the mid 80s – the same organization with which Nelson Barque became involved.
(13) Don Johnson tells us his fluency in French is restricted to ordering beer. We needed to know that I suppose.
(14) Johnson’s version of his brief tenure as David Silmser’s lawyer is rather at odds with Dave’s.
Dave has always said he retained Johnson when they met in a bar, and then fired him shortly after because Johnson was doing something which upset Dave. I don’t recall exactly what it was – will have to look it up.
Johnson says he told Dave he never does business in a bar, and that when Dave showed up later at his office he, Johnson, told Dave ‘there’s two ways out of here.’
Johnson certainly implied that Dave was up to no good and he, Johnson, was above it all.
The same old same old!
(15) Did I understand right that Johnson denies memory or involvement with the early sex abuse allegations against Earl Landry Jr? the ones which went nowhere?
If I heard that correctly then I believe there are people who could jog Johnson’s memory and attest to the fact that Don Johnson was indeed involved. They were outraged that Johnson was the Crown back in the 80s when there were allegations against Landry Jr. and no charges were laid, and years later when Landry Jr. was finally charged who was there defending him in court but Don Johnson!!!.
Two other things I must mention, both unrelated to Johnson’s testimony:
(1) Retired OPP Detective Inspector Pat Hall testified that before 1997 he was involved in an historic sex abuse case in Brockville, Ontario.
In that case, as you will see, a pilot was taking children on flights and molesting them while they were in the air:.
in the City of Brockville we had complaints of child abuse and they were historic in nature and involved the ex-mayor of Brockville by the name of Langmuir, and for one reason or another, the Brockville City Police didn’t want to investigate it, and we had some complainants in OPP area and I gave the detective constables the go-ahead to interview the children.
They did, and we ended up with five victims.
The suspect, a very prominent citizen, World War II — decorated hero of World War II. He owned Brock Air Service, and most of these complaints took place in the air while he was taking the kids up.
There were sex abuse allegations involving Jean Luc Leblanc which entailed his interactions with former Cornwall Crown Malcolm MacDonald and a pilot who was molesting children in air over Cornwall.
I believe in the latter case the plane was flying from a Quebec airport, but the abuse transpired in air over Cornwall so the crime would have been committed in Ontario and should therefore have been investigated by Ontario police. Nothing ever came of those allegations.
I am obviously struck by the fact that there are two instances here of children being sexually abused by a pilot while in flight.
Did anyone in Project Truth ever check to see if there was perhaps a connection between this pilot friend of Jean Luc Leblanc and the pilot molester in Brockville? Brockville isn’t too far down the road from Cornwall.
(2) We will not be hearing from any school board witnesses. We will never find out what the boards knew about Roman Catholic school teachers, Gilf Greggain and Robert Sabourin, or about chaplain Father Gilles Deslaurier.
Why were the school boards granted standing?
How much tax payers funds have gone down the drain so the boards could send in lawyers day after day to monitor testimony? And now they’re out of the equation? No chance to hear from principals and teachers about who knew what?
Note that Don Johnson got an acquittal for Harvey Latour based on the absence of a tattoo.
Can you tell us any more on this David?
Well past supper time. Must put some food on the table 🙂
Enough for now,