Never lose hope

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There are two more articles posted (together) re the suicide of convicted child molester Father Dale Crampton

13 October 2010:  “Priest Accused in Sexual Assaults Takes Own Life” & “Priest convicted of sexually assaulting altar boys kills himself” 

Obviously he did jump.  The reference to a note now in the hands of investigators may well include the detailed instructions for his burial?

I will add here that someone who knew Father Crampton tells me that Father Crampton  never really seemed to accept responsibility for his ‘failings’ and seemed to blame the Church for everything.


I too was riveted to the rescue of the miners John.  There are many things which struck me, – their faith of course, but, also   ….hope.  They had hope.  They never gave up.  Even when the odds were stacked against them, they never gave up hope.

Something I believe for all of us to remember.  Never lose hope.


More charges against Father William Hodgson Marshallcsb

13 October 2010:  Windsor court to hear charges against William Hodgson Marshall 


Earlier today, and at my request,  Michel Bertrand gave an account of the role he played in seeing Father Eric Dejaeger brought to justice in Baker Lake, North West Territories (now Nunavut) in 1990.  I don’t want people to miss it so am pasting it below.  (If anyone wants to post comments or pose questions please do so on the original thread at the foot of 23 September 2010: Runaway Nunavut priest left few good memories). 

Here then is what Michel has to say:

Michel Bertrand Says:
October 13th, 2010 at 3:45 pm

To the best of my recollection and having meditated and prayed on this for several days now as I was upset that the person we had confronted judicially escaped responsibility and additional charges where pending so as result here is my best understanding of the facts while I was involved in this case.

The initial concern that came to the attention to the then Government of Northwest Territories social services office and myself as supervisor level 5 was that a young girl while doing volunteer work in the local day care was caught in the washrooms playing a sexual game with small young children of various professionals ages 4-9 years. She was approximately 13-14 years of age. She was charged and convicted under YOA legislation and was sentenced to a treatment group home that was researched and found by the Baker Lake office of social services in Fort Smith. I seem to recall it as being called Trail Cross as indicated below.

During her stay she disclosed to an attendant that she had been sexually abused by a family member and mentioned that she and 2 other young girls had been in the Roman Catholic rectory and had been touched sexually by Eric Dejeager. Our office in Baker Lake was alerted and I was sent to Trail Cross and conducted an interview as she was a resident of our community and the occurrences was within the Keewatin District.

Upon returning to Baker Lake that information was disclosed to Cpl Kim Melenchuk RCMP who charged the family member and began inquiries into the abuse allegations that the Roman Catholic priest had abused those 2 other children, they disclosed that they had been touched and indicated other occurrences with other children and they were interviewed and disclosed still other children in all several children had been in and out of the rectory and presbytery and I am going on by my best recollection that 20-30 children had been contacted however that the information would only warrant the charges as laid by Cpl Melenchuk on the 9 various counts as documented by the supreme court judgement.

The family member was convicted as charged as well in the matter of the initial disclosing child.

The older boy was interviewed on the fact that it was known in the community that he had been staying in the presbytery with Dejeager and that he had been to Belgium during his time with Dejeager. I was in the Baker Lake RCMP office at the time of the interview and he disclosed being buggered, showering, touching and masturbating the priest repeatedly and that this was on-going throughout the relationship as well as during his sojourn in Belgium.

Dejeager was charged and was sent to stay in Arviat a small coastal community and the social worker in that community heard that he might be sent to work in the school while the charges where pending. The RCMP and GNWT social services warned the diocese that under no circumstances should he be allowed access to children while in Arviat.

Bishop Rouleau was in Baker Lake on two occasions while this matter was being heard and GNWT social services was giving pressure to the diocese to redress the effects that these events would have on all members of the community. The bishop did say to me in my office in the afternoon as I recall, that the diocese did not have very much money and that they could not afford much in terms of monies towards restitution resources. He asked if this writer was catholic and asked from what parish I hailed. On the second visit he indicated who the parish priest was in my families community.

At that point GNWT was proposing that 3 community sexual abuse workers specializing in first nation communities out of Alberta be brought in to live in Baker Lake for one year. The details of this program was signed by my supervisors Greg ? and Debbie ? from the regional office in the same building as my office in Baker Lake. I unfortunately do not recall their last names. The sum as I recall was approximately 130,000.00 dollars. No discussion on damages or restitution to the victims was ever discussed with myself or the regional office as far as I remember.

During the court proceeding Dejeager entered the court room with several catholic supporters, his lawyers and he sat at the front. The court was held in the local hotel lounge as this was the largest room available in Baker Lake. I was sitting to the side of the crown directly off from him in the next row. He had a 3-4 inch pin button on the point of his parkla’s hood that read “everybody makes mistakes” If my memory serves me it was white with green lettering. He was sentenced and I recall being upset that the judge did not consider him a paedophile despite the charges being against children and the reports by his lawyers doctors. I had mixed feeling with respect that he was seen of good character for having plead guilty and not having put the children through testimony.

With respect to the older young boy special counselling was set up for him in Ottawa due to the length and severity of the abuse and I accompanied him to that city. He stayed with his sister and my role was to get him to and from the hospital for his counselling sessions. He was taught how to use the transit system, recognize landmarks much like inukshuks would be used on the land and how to orient himself should he get lost. I stayed one week and upon his being able to meet me at an agreed location in Ottawa on his own I felt that he would be able to get himself to his counselling sessions on his own and should he require with the additional assistance of his sister and her husband.

To say this only impacted the catholic community in this hamlet would be understimated, local government, businesses, the schools and other children had all been made aware of these issues. In fact the catholic composition of the community was smaller than the anglican parish and I understand that shortly after my leaving the anglican minister was also charged for the same types of sexual abuse against children.

As I said in a previous post prior to my involvement in Baker Lake it was the cultural jewel of the NWT and upon leaving it was known as the community with the most sexual abuse in the north. Those kids, the people, the land and that community was a wonderful place and they deserved better, much better.

Shortly after these measures where put in place and having had my fill of dealing with this matter as I was feeling sickened, I boarded a plane and got a job breaking dishes at the Banff Spring Hotel, disillusioned with the churches power meanderings and how they addressed these abuse issues from a perspective of money, power and risk management. I have never been to a church since as a practicing catholic. I have wondered many sleepless nights how the young fellow and those children got on and if suicides had occurred as result of this man’s crimes. In fact I had occasion to work as a supervisor in a Native Child Welfare agency in the James Bay area and came across a good document and sent a teacher in Baker Lake current community resources that I had in my possession to continue to deal with the effect of community sexual abuse from a First Nation perspective.

I was and am very upset to here that this individual has abused again and that he was hidden by the church. I read the letter posted on this site by the oblate JP and if I hid my brother from such crimes, I would be charged with obstruction of justice or aiding and abetting a criminal why is the Church any different.

Bring him back, afford him his constitutional rights, no more no less and have him account to the people of Igloolik they deserve closure.

 Note that Dejaeger’s abuse came to light after a young girl was caught molesting children in a bathroom at a day care.  The girl disclosed that she had been molested by an uncle and by Father Dejaeger.

That brings to mind the case of the young lad in Eganville who was molesting children in the boy’s bathroom at St. James Catholic School.  I tried without success to find out what ever happened to those  charges.  I must try again. I can’t help but wonder if that boy in Eganville was molested? 

Enough for now


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