I am about to start writing up my thoughts and observations on the sex abuse trial of now convicted Archdiocese of Kingston child molester Father Rene Labelle . Before I start I want to make note of up-coming court dates and the status of those cases which were recently in court.
(1) Father Joe Leclair
Father Joe Lecliar’s preliminary hearing is scheduled to start in Ottawa, Monday 20 January 2014 at 10 am in courtroom 10. I don’t believe this will be the start of a preliminary hearing, but, it is still booked as such at the Ottawa courthouse.
For those who missed the news a few days before Christmas, Meaghan Hurley wrote in the Ottawa Citizen that all witnesses subpoenaed to testify at the prelim were contacted and advised they were no longer needed, and LeClair’s lawyer sent out an email asking that those who had previously sent letters of support to send an updated one. The latter email also solicited donations to cover LeClair’s legal expenses.
Hurley expressed the opinion that “a plea deal may be in the works.” Here is a link to the article:
22 December 2013: Plea deal in offing?
Well, tomorrow morning we should find out why witnesses have been cancelled and what is happening.
Whatever is going on, let’s pray that justice is done. I suggest that those who plan to attend should probably be there early – there may be a large crowd.
20 January 2014: 10 am, courtroom 10, Preliminary hearing, Ottawa, Ontario courthouse (161 Elgin St.)
(2) Father Eric Dejaeger omi
The sex abuse trial of previously convicted Oblate molester and former fugitive from justice Father Eric Dejaeger is scheduled to resume tomorrow in the Iqaluit courthouse, Nunavut. I don’t have the start time but it is probably 09:30 am.
The Crown had finished presenting evidence before Christmas. Tomorrow Dejaeger will mount his defence. The word is that Dejaeger will probably take the stand in his own defence. If that’s the case I hope and pray that the Crowns can smoke out any and all lies and deception uttered by Dejaeger in his own defence, as did assistant Crown Gerard Laarhuis at the sex abuse trial of Father Rene Labelle.
As I mentioned elsewhere, I am still wondering what happened to the failure to appear (at court in 1995). It may have been dealt with in court and if no reporters were present it wouldn’t have been covered. I don’t think that’s the case, but will check into this week. I know Dejaeger did not enter a guilty plea to the charge, so if the charge which was laid were prosecuted he would have to defend himself. I really belvie he should have to answer to that snub to the courts, and truly would like to know what explanation he would offer for failing to appear, and why he felt comfortable fleeing the country. Do you think he would tell? I think he would.
Anyway, please keep all the Dejaeger victims and complainants and their families in your prayers tomorrow and throughout the rest of the week. If indeed Dejager takes the stand it will be rough week for all.
(3) Father John E. Sullivan
You people in the North Bay Ontario area, mark your calendars. The next court date for Father Sullivan is a week tomorrow:
27 January 2014: North Bay, Ontario court house (360 Plouffe Street)
I will get the start time during the week and post. Will Father Sullivan finally make an appearance? I hope so. This one has been going on for 16 months and seems to be going nowhere.
Keep the complainants and families in your prayers. It’s terribly frustrating when these court dates come and go, and come and go, and come and go.
(4) Father Yvon Arsenault
And you people in the Moncton, New Brunswick area mark your calendars too. The next court date for Father Arsenualt is a week Monday:
27 January 2014: Moncton courthouse, Moncton, New Brunswick
(5) Father Daniel Miller
There was an examination for discovery for the new Father Miller sex abuse charges last. I will check this week for the next court date.
Please keep the complainant in your prayers.
(6) Father Gary Hoskins
Father Hoskins’ preliminary hearing was last week. There is a publication ban on preliminary hearings so we won’t know what happened there. There will at some point be a decision rendered by the judge as to whether or not he is committed to stand trial. I haven’t seen anything yet. I will check on that too this week.
Please keep the complainant in your prayers as he awaits the decision
(7) Father Jacques Faucher
Father Fuacher had a court date last week in Ottawa. His next court date is:
11 March 2014: 08:30 am, courtroom #5, “to be spoken to,” Ottawa Ontario courthouse (161 Elgin St.)
This has been chugging along for a year and going nowhere – the revolving door.
Please keep the complainants and their families in your prayers. As I said earlier, it’s terribly frustrating when these court dates come and go, and come and go, and come and go.
Please note. The Archdiocese of Kingston’s sex abuse policy is posted:
There are several comments I could make but will limit to the following:
(i) In Ontario the duty to report is to Children’s Aid. That is in accord with the law, but it would be awfully nice to see our bishops insist that all sex abuse allegations – which allege criminal activity – be reported to police.
As an aside. I can not for the life of me understand why legislators decided that such crimes be reported to CAS and only to CAS. Criminal activity should be reported to police. If legislators feel that CAS should be involved then mandate police to report child sex abuse to CAS.
(ii) Note #17 and #18. If the complainant is over age 16 the allegations are relegated to what is in effect the historical abuse heap. Most if not all dioceses do the same thing. It’s legal. Don’t ask me why, but, conveniently for predators – and dioceses – and sadly for our children, it is.
(ii) According to #28, “at no time should a complaint be discouraged or impeded from reporting the compliant to the police.”
I suggest that what should be in this policy and every diocesan policy is something like the following: When the alleged molester is alive every complainant should be urged to go to police. Because victims are usually afraid and ashamed all efforts should be made to help the complainant understand that (a) the acts alleged are criminal in nature and warrant a criminal investigation; (b) if the allegations are true other children are currently at risk of suffering the same fate; (3) the complainant has nothing to be ashamed of (5) the police may find other complainants who are desperately in need of help
(iii) If a priest or deacon is found guilty “the penalty may include a petition for dismissal from the clerical state, in accordance with the Code of Canon Law.”
There is all sorts of dancing on the head of a canonical pin as to why clerical molesters can not be defrocked unless they personally ask to be laicized. The dancing must stop and the Code of Canon law can and must be changed to ensure that ALL convicted clerical molesters are promptly removed from the priesthood.
The process to defrock/laicize Father Rene Labelle should be under way this week. Write to Pope Francis demanding that Father Labelle be laicized and that if necessary the Code of Canon Law be amended to facilitate the prompt laicization of ALL clergy who have molested children and youth regardless how many years have transpired since the abuse was inflicted, and regardless the age of the victim at the time of the abuse. Here is the contact information for Pope Francis:
His Holiness, Pope Francis
00120 Vatican City
And write to Kingston’s Archbishop Brendan O’Brien asking that Father Labelle be defrocked and that he, the Archbishop, do what is necessary to accomplish that end.
Here is Archbishop O’Brien’s contact information:
Archbishop Brendan O’Brien
390 Palace Road, Kingston,
Ontario, Canada, K7L 4T3
(iv) According to # 48, when there are anonymous complaints which “are very general in nature and deemed not credible by the Delegate” the complainant “shall be instructed to contact the police…”
Why would the complainant in these cases be instructed to contact police and not Children’s Aid? Why the departure? Does anyone have any ideas?
Just a bit of information for those who have an HP computer and find that your keyboard suddenly switches to French symbols. I have had the problem for ages. When it happens I can’t print a ?, or / or an apostrophe and so on. And when it happens the only remedy is to close everything down and re-boot. Well, I got fed up with it this afternoon and went on a hunt for a solution. And, I found it. Click here to access the article. It works 🙂
Enough for now,