Well, I don’t know what to say. At a loss for words,
Father Linus Bastien , accused molester ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of London Ontario in 1951, is dead.
How this case managed to drag on through the courts for all of these years without getting to trial or evoking a guilty plea is beyond comprehension.
Just look at this:
October 2011: first charged October 2011: two counts of indecent assault and two counts of gross indecency
27 October 2011: further two charges laid, one of indecent assault and one of gross indecency
12 February 2012: further two charges laid, one of indecent assault and one of gross indecency
November 2012: further charges laid in Chatham, Ontario
27-28 February and 03 March 2014: Preliminary hearing. Committed to stand trial on 30 counts of gross indecency, indecent assault, sexual assault and invitation to sexual touching against 12 boys, most of whom, if not all, were former altar boys. The charges related to twelve male complainants and dated to between July 1963 and July 1989.
Do you see that? In early 2014, two-and-a-half years after the first charges were laid, he was committed to stand trial.
There was no trial.
In January 2015 Bastien was busily disputing the charges, arguing that the judge at the preliminary hearing had made errors in law
The next angle (to elude justice) was arguing that he was unfit to stand trial.
By 25 February 2016, at least one understandably frustrated victim had had it.
Errors in law.
Unfit to stand trial.
All from a priest!
Never mind the nonsense about definitions and the charges laid, The question which needed asking of Father Bastien was: Did you do it or not do it? Never mind trying to get ‘off’ on a technicality. Did you, Father Bastien, a Roman Catholic priest, did you or did you not, sexually abuse those 12 boys?
And another. Regarding your concerns about fitness to stand trial. You knew from the day those first charges were laid that the years were creeping up on you. Why, if you profess innocence, did you, a Roman Catholic priest, not insist the case go to trial?
The latter did not of course happen. Rather, this thing dragged on from year to year, and with each year the elderly priest miraculously grew yet a year older.
And then the news: Father Linus Bastien was hospitalized, and, of course, the previously scheduled fitness hearing was rescheduled to late October 2016.
Yes, rescheduled to late October 2016.
Can you really believe it?
And now, he’s dead.
I may be mistaken, but I think that’s the way he wanted it to play out?
Did the Diocese of London pick up the hefty nigh to five year tab for Bastien’s legal services? Was it the diocese which paid to have this priest elude justice and betray the victims time and time again?
If not the diocese, who?
Was it we the tax payer? Did we pay for it?
Who paid for this travesty of justice?
My heart goes out to all you men who were sexually abused by Father Linus Bastien, to all of you who finally summoned the courage to do the right thing and go to police after years upon years of silence.
Stay strong all of you. Please, in this difficult time, try to stay strong. Find a way to direct you anger and frustration in a positive direction. Write letters. Write to the bishop. Write to Crown. Write to you MP and or your MPP. Write letters to the editor. Get it off your chest. Let people know. Do what you can to ensure that a travesty of justice such as this can not happen again.
I ask everyone to please keep the victims and their families in you prayers.
Enough for now,