Charges from the West

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Some many recall that last July two Saskatoon, Saskatchewan men went to police with sex abuse allegations against convicted Basilian molester/predator Father William Hodgson Marshall.

Well, charges have been laid!

I honestly had concerns that this was going nowhere.  You may also recall we got word some time ago that Marshall’s guilty plea in Windsor entailed a plea deal that there would be no further charges laid against Marshall.  There was uncertainty as to whether that deal applied to Ontario  or right across Canada.

I have trouble with the plea period.  I don’t believe that a Crown in one little corner of Ontario has the right to bargain away the rights of victims to pursue justice in a court of law. And if he does so, I don’t believe he can do so without a nod from the Ontario Attorney General.

Was that nod given?    John MacDonald has been trying in vain to get confirmation from the AGs office that such a deal was approved by the AG.  Straight-forward answers have not, alas, been forthcoming.  If you’re there John, could you bring us up-to-date?

As I said, there were questions as to how far-reaching such a deal could be.  Could it actually extend right across Canada?

Well, clearly Saskatchewan has not been tainted by the deal.  Those with allegations against Hod Marshall remain  free to seek justice.

On 10 November 2011 Saskatoon police turned over the file to the Crown attorney in Regina Saskatchewan. Today the news that charges have been laid. I can tell you that I am truly relieved, not only that the plea bargain deal does not extended to Saskatchewan, but because the Crown will move forward with sex abuse charges against an 89-year-old incarcerated sex offender.   Some Crowns would not.

I have posted several articles within the following two files:

07 February 2012: Retired priest charged with sex offences against Saskatoon teens

07 February 2012:  Former Saskatoon priest, teacher faces more sexual assault charges

I commend Carl Mulligan and Tim Ryan for coming forward and going to police.  My thoughts and prayers are with you both as you proceed on the next leg of this journey.

One final note here:  I see that the Regina Crown is making arrangements to allow Hod to answer to these charges in an Ontario court.  According to media reports, Hod is still serving his time in Kingston, Ontario – I think therefore that the court appearance will probably be held in the Kingston courthouse.  I will do what I can to track this down and find out the date and time.  Once done I will draw it to your attention and post it.

I wonder will Hod be defended once again by Andrew Brady?  My guess is yes.


I have some catching up to do on my emails.  I will get to those tomorrow.  My apologies to those who have been waiting several days for a response.


About a year or more ago a WordPress upgrade changed the manner in which comments appear (Wordpres is the blog software which I use).  Once upon a time all comments  appeared numerically.  There was no ability then to reply directly to a comment, but rather we would indicate that were were responding to comment #whatever posted by whomever.  It really was very simple and easy to follow.

The upgrade allowed for ‘threaded’ comments.  That’s where you can post comment directly to and under another person’s, and someone in turn can respond directly to your comment.  Each comment is indented under the other, which is good, but eventually there is no room to comment to a comment, which is frustrating.

Initially I thought it would be great, but after a while decided that I really don’t like it.   It often creates sheer confusion, and, on occasion a comment winds up in the wrong place all together.  For example, on the Dialogue page  on 06 February 2012 at 4:46 pm Michel Bertrand posted a comment which was meant to be a response to the comment of Father Steve Ballard on 06 February 2012.     JG took the response as directed at him (4:55pm).  I thought we were headed for a replay of the November  2011 blogging fiasco so I stepped in.  And at 6:07 Michel blogged to explain that his comment was directed at Father Ballard.

From time to time I would check to see if anyone had developed a ‘plug-in’ which would improve and simplify the comments. There seemed to be no options for change.

I have checked again and may have found a way to revert to the numbering system, or something else which is easier to follow.  I will try it out this evening.  If it doesn’t work,  or if it works and you don’t like it, I will revert to the current system and I will keep a look-out for something better.


Another technical issue.  Some of the Accused pages are maxed – examples being those of Father William Hodgson Marshall and Eric Dejaeger.  I don’t think it impacts you just yet but if I don’t get things taken care of soon it eventually will.  Right now I have difficulty posting new articles on both those pages – I have found ways to trick the software and work around the problems, but that can only work for so long.  I will have to find a way to break down  both those pages in such a manner that the information which is currently  there is still easy to find. If you happen on one of those pages over the next few days and find things in a state of disarray I am working at spreading the current load around.

Enough for now,


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

6 Responses to Charges from the West

  1. Megan says:

    Sylvia ….don’t know if John has a computer available. Will pass it along when I hear from him 😉

  2. Sylvia says:

    I tried changing the comments to a numbering system- no luck, and I can find nothing which allows that option at this time. So, ….it’s back to the old :(. I have set it to allow five comments in reply to any given comment. If that proves too little please let me know and I can reset it. I found that allowing six as I had in the past made for some pretty small comment boxes.

    Be sure to watch when you post a comment in response to another that it is positioned where it should be, ie under the comment to which you are responding. In fact, if you are directing your comment to someone in particular I think it would be a good idea to always address that person first and then carry on with your comment. That would ensure no misunderstandings .

  3. John says:

    Below is the e-mail that I recieved from then Attorney General Chris Bentley through Assistant Attorney General John Ayre. In mid-December I e-mailed Premier McGuinty asking the same question regarding Marshalls’ sentencing, I recieved a response at the beginning of January from Attorney General John Gerretsen. In that e-mail Mr. Gerretsen stood by John Ayres’ response to me……………. My question all along has been; Was part of the plea agreement for William Hodgson Marshall that no further charges would be entertained against him?

    Dear Mr. MacDonald,

    Further to my letter to you dated July 28, 2011, I write in response to your e-mail of August 17, 2011, in which you re-iterate your request for confirmation of whether the plea agreement arrived at in this case prohibits further charges from being laid against Father Hod Marshall.

    As I indicated in my July 28, 2011 letter to you, plea agreements are the result of privileged resolution discussions. Resolution discussions between Crown counsel and defence counsel are by law privileged and confidential and thus I cannot comment beyond what I earlier advised you. The comments made by the crown in Court at the time of the guilty plea and sentencing reflect the public comments of the Crown in this matter.

    Yours truly,

    John D. Ayre

    Assistant Deputy Attorney General

    Criminal Law Division

    As you can see, both AG’s are refusing to answer the question, which only leads me to believe that indeed part of the Hod Marshall sentencing is that no further charges will be entertained. I come to that conclusion this way….My question to them is extremely easy to answer NO to, but it becomes very problematic to answer YES to. The doors to Ontario’s courtrooms should never be locked for anyone. How is it that a Crown Attorney in Windsor gets to dictate who is able to pursue justice in this province?

    I will be writing Premier McGuinty again this week asking him if he stands by the responses from his AG’s.

    John Mac Donald

  4. Michel Bertrand says:

    Please let him know that the citizens of Ontario have a right to now if their rights have been altered in pursuing redress for crimes against their person.

  5. JG says:

    “The comments made by the crown in Court at the time of the guilty plea and sentencing reflect the public comments of the Crown in this matter. ”

    Did anyone get a copy of the Court transcript in the first place…
    Secondly, unless I went to sleep and woke up in a different country, such an agreement could not be enforced across Canada. I don’t even believe the AG would be so irresponsible as to make such an “unenforceable” ruling…Any Crown Attorney willing to do his job honestly would have to bring any further charges before a Judge…following the evidence brought to him by Police…too many people involved in what would inevitably become a “cover-up”…a media treat!
    Those backroom deals can’t involve or prejudice an unknown third party…
    or beyond the charges before the Court at time of sentencing.
    I think that could have been part of his answer to you, but they don’t want to be involved at this level. My guess.
    The dirty tricks in our Courts are a lot more subtle, or use to be!!!
    I think anyone with allegations and evidence to present to the Police should not be deterred.
    …or keep the main stream media in mind when all else fails!
    My take from the “outside”.

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