Yes, Father George Ansel Smith is headed back to jail. 15 months incarceration. To served consecutive to the sentence he is presently serving (on parole) for the sexual abuse of 13 boys. .
Father Smith must answer here on earth for his crimes against the man the judge refers to as “Mr. X.”. There are sadly judges who would sadly and simply lump “Mr. X” in with the thirteen other victims and run the sentence concurrent to the previous sentence. Not this judge.
Here is the ruling:
05 December 2017: R. v. Smith (Sentence Section 156) (002) 05 December 2017
Please do take the time to read it all. A few excerpts (the headers are mine):
– I have concluded that an appropriate sentence in this case is the imposition of a period of fifteen months of incarceration, to be served on a consecutive basis to any sentence presently being served by Mr. Smith. I have concluded that this is an appropriate sentence because of the seriousness of the offence committed; Mr. Smith’s high level of moral responsibility for the offence; the nature of the breach of trust which occurred; and the long term negative consequences suffered by Mr. X as a result of Mr. Smith’s actions.
Quoting from the Victim Impact Statement
– I made a comment earlier in regards to my memory, that being that I don’t remember much. However I do have one memory that stands out amongst the rest. My dad passed away in 19… I remember going back to NL for the funeral. I remember walking into the house, opening the kitchen door and seeing him [Mr. Smith] sitting at the kitchen table talking to my mom, he was actually sitting in the same place at the table where my dad would always sit. I remember quickly walking past him and going into the family room, as I felt very uncomfortable and did not want to speak to him, however I did not understand why at the time. I don’t remember anything after that. Very shortly after returning to Ontario, I found myself lying in a hospital bed for two weeks, I had tried to commit suicide. I loved my dad with all my heart and I know I was grieving his death, but I could not comprehend why I would try to actually take my own life. Now I understand that seeing him that day in my family’s home sitting with my mom, was a huge trigger for me and the emotions felt so overwhelming, that all I could think of was to die. The thought of him sitting there with my mom that day will be embedded in my memory for ever. If my memory ever decides to fail me, I’m sure the mental picture will always remain.
– Since June 9, 2016, my life has taken a bit of a downward spiral. My health started to decline to the point where it affected my ability to work. Recalling the memories of what was done to me as a child has made it very difficult for me to function in my day-to-day life. I have a very hard time sleeping which makes it very hard for me to concentrate and be effective at work. I started missing work to the point where I was fired from my job in
November 2016. Nine years of my life gone, six months after remembering what happened to me as a child. Needless to say that losing my job has created a few more obstacles for me to overcome. My Financial situation has gotten to the point where I had my vehicle repossessed 7 months ago. My Health has declined to the point where I have lost almost 30 lbs in the past 6 months.
– I feel as though my journey to recovery is just beginning, and that reporting what was done to me as a child to authorities was my first step. This isn’t something that I wanted to do, but I felt it was necessary in order to move on, and hopefully start to get my life back.
Re Father Smith blaming Mr, X for not coming forward sooner
– Blaming Mr. X for not having come forward until 2016, when he remained silent in 2013, constitutes a perverse form of reasoning. …. Mr. Smith’s comments are concerning because they illustrate little understanding on his part or remorse for his own actions and their consequences for Mr. X.
– When provided with an opportunity to speak on his own behalf at the sentence hearing, Mr. Smith indicated that he lives with “grief and regret.” He did not say anything to Mr. X.
– Late disclosure of sexual abuse as a child is common. It often takes many years for victims to come forward. An offender, particularly one in a position of trust who sexually abuses a multitude of children over a significant number of years, has created a situation in which incremental disclosure is highly likely. It would be the height of cynicism for such an offender to criticize his victims for not all disclosing at the same time or to expect lenient treatment as a result.
No free ride
I must consider the sentence imposed in 2013. The offence committed against Mr. X by Mr. Smith is related to those offences and thus the totality principle of sentencing is engaged. I must also consider that I am being asked to return Mr. Smith to prison after he has been released on parole. These are fair and proper considerations, but Mr. X constitutes a separate victim who deserves the attention of the court for the offence committed against him and Mr. Smith must be sentenced for that offence in accordance with the applicable principles of sentencing. He cannot be given a free ride as if the offence against Mr. X never occurred.
Lack of empathy
– Mr. Smith indicated to the author of the pre-sentence report that he “accepts responsibility for his actions.” However, the author of the pre-sentence report notes Mr. Smith “displayed limited victim empathy.” In addition, Mr. Smith said the following to the author of the pre-sentence report: “To me, it’s in the past.” Mr. Smith also told the author of the pre-sentence report that he wished the victim had “come forward at the time with the others when the whole thing was put together. It would have been easier for me if he did then. I feel very guilty about him, about all of them.”
– The author of the pre-sentence report does note that Mr. Smith “displayed limited victim empathy.” This is a concerning comment.
“conditional release remains manageable”?
– The letter from Mr. Smith’s parole officer indicates that Mr. Smith “participated in a psychological evaluation specific to sex offenders in 2014 which assessed his risk of sexual recidivism to be in the Low range. Following his offending period, Mr. Smith reportedly participated in a rehabilitation program in 1992 for alcohol abuse and inappropriate sexual behavior.” The letter indicates that Mr. Smith’s “release conditions attempt to limit his contact with “any male children under the age of 18.” The letter concludes that a risk assessment indicates that “conditional release remains manageable.” The letter does not explain how this conclusion was reached.
As always, please keep Paul in your prayers,
P.S. I have just now received word that Father Omer Desjardins died last night.