Ottawa priest charged

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Charges laid against an Ottawa priest.  Here’s the press release:

Charges Laid in Historical Sexual Assault Investigation by Ottawa Police

12/07/2010  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Monday, July 12, 2010  3:45 pm 

(Ottawa)—Today, the Ottawa Police Service Sexual Assault/Child Abuse Section has charged an Ottawa Priest with three counts of Indecent Assault as a result of a historical sexual assault investigation. 

An investigation was commenced in March 2010 into a series of inappropriate contacts between a Roman Catholic Priest and two teenage males that occurred in Ottawa between 1970 and 1976. 

William Joseph ALLEN, age 80, of Ottawa was arrested on July 12, 2010 and released on conditions.  

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Ottawa Police Service Sexual Assault/Child Abuse Section at 613-236-1222 ext. 5944 or Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477 (TIPS).

– 30 – 

CONTACT:   

Media Relations Section 

Tel: 613-236-1222, ext. 5366 

 Ottawa Police Service/Service de police d’Ottawa

 www.ottawapolice.ca 

I hear the Archbishop has also issued a press release.  As soon as get a copy I will post it.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

(cornwall@theinquiry.ca)

This entry was posted in Accused or charged, Canada, Clerical sexual predators, Scandal and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Ottawa priest charged

  1. Sylvia says:

    Here it is:
    Archbishop Terrence Prendergast press release re charges against Father William Allen

    Note that the archbishop does not urge others with allegations to contact police, but rather says that a criminal investigation is an “option”:

    “For some years, it has been out policy to advise victims that a criminal invetigation is always one of their options.”

    “A criminal investigation always remains an option”

    Note also::

    “Over time, some victims have chosen a process outside of the criminal justice system.”

    What bothers me here is how many priests have been accused “outside the criminal justice system” who have never been charged?

    Why would the archbishop focus on the non-criminal “options”? Why not encourage victims to go directly to police?

    I for one encourage those with sex abuse allegations against Father William Allen to contact the police.

  2. Reality Checker says:

    Sylvia – I too have issues with a archbishop encouraging victims of clerical sexual abuse to chose options outside of the criminal justice system!

    Sexual abuse of children is a CRIME in this country!!!

    If the church is using and encouraging “options” outside of our criminal justice system – then HOW MANY of these clerical abusers are out there that we and/or the police don’t know about???

    It’s disgusting!!!

  3. Reality Checker says:

    BTW – When did the Catholic church become such a distinct society in Canada that they get the “option” of NOT having to face the Canadian criminal courts for crimes committed against children???

    Just asking…..

  4. Sylvia says:

    I was wondering the same thing Reality Checker. Should there not be a duty to report to police as well as CAS? The anonymity of victims can be retained by police and the courts if the victims so desire. But surely allegations of crimes committed against children demand reporting to police?

  5. Reality Checker says:

    THIS IS CANADA ISN’T IT?

    Didn’t I ask that same question when Perry was brought across the country in waist shackles and cuffs to face “justice”???

    THERE’S SOMETHING REALLY WRONG IN THIS PICTURE!

  6. AbsentObserver says:

    I can understand the church offering their door as an option to the door of a police station for a victim who might be coming forward for the first time. But that church door must enter into a room within which there is an understanding police will, at some point, be made aware of the allegations being brought by that victim. I don’t think the church should close their doors and put out a sign saying, “If you’re a victim, don’t come knockin’. Try your local cop shop instead.” I think the proper thing to do would be for the church to offer themselves as an initial contact place IF a victim wants to go that route. But there should be no option to keep things quiet and not involve the police at some point.

    That’s my thinking.

    The only fear I have is for the victims who absolutely don’t want to involve the police. If a distrust in police and the justice system keeps them quiet, is that better than at least talking to someone within the church about it?

    I don’t know. I’ve never been through this myself. I just feel in my heart that if there’s a suggestion a crime has been committed against a person, whether it’s a person who is currently a child or whether that child is now 70 years old, there should be some sort of investigation by an authority outside of the church. The duty to report is simple. You must report. As we heard at the inquiry, the only time the duty to report doesn’t come into play, apparently, is if the disclosure is a part of confession. Even that I’m not sure I agree with.

  7. Reality Checker says:

    Yes – by all means support the victim and if that victim requires his spiritual/religious community as a means of support then so be it – but like you Absent Observer – just does not cut it with me NOT having the police or authorities involved….too much room for a coverup! (My opinion)

  8. John says:

    Can anyone spell conflict?

    C hurch
    O fficials
    N ever
    F ollow the
    L aw and
    I mplicitly
    C annot be
    T rusted

    John Mac Donald

  9. Sylvia says:

    Absent Observer, you say you think it’s distrust in police and the justice system which keeps victims quiet. I am inclined to beleive it’s the feeling of shame. True some have had skirmishes with the law and bear an animosity towards police, but is it not equally true that most hate the Church and want absolutely nothing to do with a priest?

    Seems to me it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other. Unfortunately, unless police or publicity are involved, Church officials do not have a proven history of taking known clerical molesters out of circulation. By all means go the Church officials, but, in light of the record, I firmly really believe it should be police first.

    John spelled out his sentiments on the matter quite nicely above. I believe many victims would agree.

  10. AbsentObserver says:

    Both John and Sylvia are correct in their suggestions a lack of confidence and faith and trust in the church keeps many victims from coming forward. I do think shame has a lot to do with it … many victims fear the stigma of victimhood and that may keep them quiet. I remember many victims talking about how hard it was for them to disclose the abuse to anyone because they were so afraid of what people would think of them. That’s why many victims wait a very long time to disclose, if they ever do. It’s also why many victims disclose in spontaneous and unplanned ways … one victim I know blurted it out to a girl at a party when he was just 16 years old. He had been drinking and he told her he’d been sexually abused as a child … she laughed it off (probably a difficult thing for a 16-year-old girl to deal with, I would say) and her reaction kept him silent for another decade.
    You’re right. Shame plays a big role. A lack of trust in the church plays a big role.
    I just think it makes sense to keep every single avenue open for victims … the road that leads to the church must not be blocked if that’s the road a victim wishes to travel. I just don’t believe that’s where the road should end.

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