03 January 2014
Father William Hodgson Marshall, a former teacher who taught at high schools across Ontario, has been stripped of his professional membership.
Marshall is no longer a member of the Ontario College of Teachers. The college found the 91-year-old guilty of professional misconduct last year.
Marshall has been found guilty of indecent assault against minors on nearly 20 counts, in court cases dating back to 2011.
Pedophile priest loses teaching licence
The Windsor Star
Jan 02, 2014 – 4:48 PM EST
Last Updated: Jan 02, 2014 – 5:21 PM EST
More than six decades after William Hodgson Marshall began sexually abusing male students, the former priest has lost his licence to teach.
The Ontario College of Teachers announced in December it has revoked Marshall’s credentials. The college began disciplinary proceedings against the retired teacher and principal after he pleaded guilty in 2011 to 16 counts of indecent assault of minors and one count of sexual assault for incidents that occurred between 1952 and 1986 while Marshall taught at Assumption and Holy Names in Windsor and other Catholic high schools in Toronto and Sudbury.
Marshall later pleaded guilty to further counts related to assaults on two boys in Saskatoon.
Marshall is 91 and is said to have cancer. He hasn’t taught in decades. But that shouldn’t preclude the college from going after his licence, said spokesman Brian Jamieson.
“We will pursue that until it comes to its rightful end,” Jamieson said Thursday.
“The actions for which the persons were found guilty of professional misconduct stand regardless.”
Marshall’s court proceedings were heard in Windsor in 2011 and 2013. Court heard that Marshall, a gym teacher, began sexually touching his students under the guise of “checking” their muscles. His groping would progress to their genitals.
He abused children in his office, in school showers, in dormitories and the church rectory. Victims told of other priests walking in on the assaults, but never reporting what they saw.
For the children whose families he befriended, the abuse would take place at his cottage and in the children’s homes while their parents were in other parts of the house.
Some of Marshall’s victims were the children of married couples he befriended. The youngest was seven years old.
Knowledge of Marshall’s predilection for touching boys was widespread through the schools where he taught. Behind his back, students called him “Happy Hands.”
Marshall was sentenced to two years in a federal penitentiary for his crimes, then later, another six months of house arrest for the charges out of Saskatchewan. He is currently on probation.
Rev. Timothy Scott, spokesman for the Congregation of St. Basil, more commonly known as the Basilian Fathers, said Marshall continues to reside at Cardinal Flahiff Basilian Centre in Toronto, a home for retired and infirm priests. This is despite the fact that Marshall is no longer a priest.
“He has been laicized,” Scott said. “He is now a former Roman Catholic priest.”
Marshall himself asked to be removed from the priesthood, a request granted by the Pope several months ago, Scott said.
“We made a commitment publicly that we’d give him a place to live until the end of his life.”
The disciplinary committee of the college held a hearing in June. Marshall did not attend but was represented by a lawyer. The college, in its December publication of Professionally Speaking, announced that the committee had found Marshall guilty of professional misconduct and ordered that his certificate be revoked.
“The committee found that Marshall had brought shame and disrepute to the profession through his abuse of power and sexual exploitation of students, and that such behaviour can only be characterized as reprehensible, debauched and entirely shameful.”
Did everyone see this?
“Rev. Timothy Scott … said Marshall continues to reside at Cardinal Flahiff Basilian Centre in Toronto, a home for retired and infirm priests. This is despite the fact that Marshall is no longer a priest.
“’He has been laicized,’ Scott said. ‘He is now a former Roman Catholic priest.’”
Well done every single one of you who bravely spoke up and in so doing first saw Father William Hodgson Marshall identified as what he is, a sexual predator, and then finally brought an end to William Hodgson Marshall’s days as a priest.
I don’t recall reading anywhere that Hod had been laicized (defrocked). This truly is belated but very good news.
I wonder if Father Kenneth O’Keefe is still a priest? Has anyone heard if by chance O’Keefe too has been laicized?
Melody and I certainly saw it and are pleased on multiple levels.
1. He has lost his teaching license and credentials. I know some people say it matters not as he is retired and no longer teaching. I say it does matter as it is still the right thing to do no matter how old he is or whether he teaches or not. The college should revoke the teaching license of every pedophile in their ranks whether age 20 or 120.
2. Media are still following his story and his crimes. Every time it is in the media more people know, more victims see that (some) justice can be had, more criminals know their time will come, and more parents learn to protect their children.
3. Best of all, mr. marshall is no longer a priest! Wonderful news. Funny how it slipped by without a single solitary sole even knowing. No press release from the Basilians???? How strange.
We are who we are. I have followed the story, and , I must say considering the lonely lives that many priests must live( I always sensed he was a very lonely man), I am sadly not surprised that he crumbled under the very strain of a life alone, not having the support and understanding and special human contact that only a life partner can give. A mind, especially a good which finds itself completely alone, can wander so far from from abstraction to sublimation of their basic human sexual desires that many previously unthinkable things become possible. How such a think can happen to a mind is truly is a form of possession( in the an the classical sense it was called a demonic possession, and as the Catholic philosopher and theologian Malachi Martin explained, possession doesn’t happen overnight. It is a process and it can be a slow one, and a process where ones will is subsumed by the possessor. I believe possession is on the rise, and our failure to see it for what it is, to look at is from a medical or criminal justice perspective, denies the root causes of such cases. Obviously the man must have struggled all his life with his homosexuality. The world of 75 years ago, whne William marshal was a young man was not kind to homosexuals. Society outlawed and persecuted then fiercely. For all we know he could have taken refuge in the church as a way of fighting what he knew was in his own nature and what was at the time referred to by everyone else and society as evil . He may have fought that battle for many years before succumbing, a battle he never should have had to fight in the first place if the world was so backwards when William Marshal was a young man. I have christian sympathy for the man, and I know that we are all sinners, even if you dont believe in sin. Who casts the first stone. The man got lost in his own mind. It was a tragedy. Today we use the terminology of psychiatry to describe a person being so blind to the harm you would do in molesingt a child. A mind disordered by loneliness can justify many things. Call it possession, call it mental illness, I feel nothing but pity for the man. I sympathize with his victims.
I knew the man, as one of his high school students. He had many opportunities to molest me, and he never did. I never had anything but great kindness from the man. When I was in grade 10, a terrible tragedy struck in my family. I had nothing but understanding from the man and felt his genuine and heartfelt sympathy for my situation. The very knowledge someone knew what I was going through, helped me get out the other side of a very difficult time in my life alive. He was the soul of kindness. I was a a sensitive and shy boy, and I was greatly helped by his understanding advice and his very catholic but still philosophical perspective on life, death and the duty we owe ourselves, to be the best we can be . I threw myself into my studies and the quest for knowledge and became a better student because of him. (althouh it took a few years for those lessons to sink into my thick head) I eventually graduated with distinction in my chosen field. When I was a kid, I had too much testosterone and was just too wild but somehow I survived. He was one of the reasons I am here today, an old man myself.
Happy Kine: Although you were not abused by him, you choose to eulogize him…a pervert collar, a pedophile, a child molester. You state that “The world of 75 years ago, whne William marshal was a young man was not kind to homosexuals. Society outlawed and persecuted then fiercely. For all we know he could have taken refuge in the church as a way of fighting what he knew was in his own nature and what was at the time referred to by everyone else and society as evil “. There is a huge difference between a pedophile and a homosexual…he was a pedophile. Please don’t use those terms interchangeably because they aren’t and it is an insult to homosexuals. I’m glad you weren’t harmed by him, but there are many who were. I don’t feel any pity for him…he was a pervert who knew exactly what he was doing. Loneliness can never be an excuse for what he did…there is NO excuse.