Former Saskatoon priest to be released from prison

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The Saskatoon Star Phoenix

03 October 2012

By Jason Warick, The Star Phoenix

A former Saskatoon priest who sexually abused more than a dozen children will be out of prison in time to celebrate Thanksgiving dinner.

“This is just ludicrous,” one of William Hodgson Marshall‘s alleged Saskatoon victims said Tuesday.

“I’m not afraid of him anymore, but it just pisses me off. He should spend the rest of his life behind bars.”

Marshall, who is in his early 90s, is due for statutory release from an Ontario prison Monday after reaching the two-thirds mark of his two-year sentence, according to Parole Board of Canada documents.

He was convicted of abusing 17 children while working at schools across Ontario during a 30-year period and also stands charged with abusing two Saskatoon boys at a Saskatoon high school in the 1960s.

Last month, in anticipation of Marshall’s release, the parole board imposed several conditions on him. He must avoid any locations where children are present such as schools, report any relationships with adults who care for children and avoid any contact with the victims and their families “to ensure they do not endure further trauma,” said a Sept. 21 parole board document.

“Your criminal behaviour is related to the sexual abuse of children in your care. The board has, therefore, imposed conditions.”

Marshall’s “SIR score,” a scale to measure the risk of re-offending, was blacked out of the parole board document supplied to The StarPhoenix this week.

Upon his release, Marshall’s living arrangements and expenses will be covered by his former employer and religious order, the Basilian Fathers.

Marshall is elderly and in poor health, said Basilian spokesman Rev. Timothy Scott. He will be placed in a home “to live out his life in penance and prayer,” Scott said.

Marshall was recently asked by the head of the Basilians to write to the Pope and request he be defrocked or “laicized,” Scott said. Marshall did.

If the Pope agrees, Marshall would no longer be a priest. He would, however, remain a member of the Catholic Church.

Last year, when victims were demanding Marshall be defrocked, Scott said, “We can’t throw him out. Only the Vatican can, and they won’t because of his age.” On Tuesday, Scott said the Basilians, who have since been sued by some of the victims, are hopeful this development “will be of some comfort to some of his many victims.”

Scott said Marshall’s letter to the Pope was private and he hadn’t seen it. The Basilians declined to disclose the letter.

The Saskatoon alleged victim is outraged the Basilians would house a convicted pedophile.

“He’s a monster. They’ve always been about protecting their own,” he said.

He is also skeptical of Marshall’s letter to the Pope.

“He’s manipulating things right to the end. He’s trying to get into heaven. Good luck,” he said.

Marshall’s legal battles, as well as those of his victims, are not over. Marshall stands charged with abusing two Saskatoon boys while working as the physical education teacher at the former St. Paul’s High School in the early 1960s.

After a series of delays, a hearing is scheduled for Oct. 16. The alleged Saskatoon victim said he hopes to find a sense of closure soon.

“I’m a little anxious. We’ll just have to wait and see,” said the man.

“Time is running out. I’d like to hear what he has to say.”


5 Responses to Former Saskatoon priest to be released from prison

  1. Sylvia says:

    We know from Jerry Boyle that Father Marhall will actually be released this Friday, 05 October 2012.

    Why do you suppose the “SIR” score was blacked out of the document supplied to the StarPhoenix?

    Note that Father Tim Scott is quoted as saying that Marshall is in poor health.  I wonder if, in an effort to have the Saskatoon charges dropped or withdrawn his lawyer Andrew Brandy will pull that one out of the hat on 16 October 2012?  I wonder if he can?  You may recall that John MacDonald was told that if Hod decided to plead not guilty to the Saskatoon charges the file goes back to Saskatchewan.  If this is fact then Hod is supposed to enter a guilty plea in Windsor.  There has I think been ample opportunity for that guilty plea, but,  … it hasn’t happened.  Why not?  Why the dancing?  The file has been in Ontario since at least February of this year.  There was a court date in Windsor 20 July 2012.  There were other Ontario court dates.  Here we are, many months and several court dates and, no plea. 

    Will Hod to Windsor for his 16 October hearing?  Would it not have been much simpler to deal with these transferred charges while he was in Joyceville? Could it not have been done via teleconference?

    Anyway, let’s cross our fingers and hope and pray for the sake of the Saskatoon complainants that this is not some sort of legal game to get Hod off this particular hook.

    Finally, not that Father Scott says Hod, at the request of the Basilian Superior,  has written to the Vatican asking to be defrocked/laicized.  Father Scott hopes that this news “will be of some comfort to some of his many victims.”  I could be mistaken but do think the “comfort” comes when the priest is defrocked?

  2. PJ says:

    The only “comfort” I would get would be when the guilty collar is dead…then I KNOW there will be no more new abuse victims. These collars fight every case and then expect us to forgive or be comforted if they ask to be laicized??? That’s a laugh.

  3. northern fancy says:

    This notorious pedopriest is being set up for a comfortable, secure retirement. His victims are not.

  4. Jerry Boyle says:

    The blackouts were also on my copy of the documents from the Parole Board. After he is defrocked, I suppose the Basilians will still provide the comfortable retirement for him.

    There is little comfort in the defrocking. It is bing done with their own financial interest at heart and could care less about the victims. I know they did refuse to assist with counselling for the victims that made the request, in spite of the fact they announced to the media they would provide the help.

    They just hope he will die before any discovery in the litigation takes place.  I was hoping for that death as well but that started back in October of 1954. I sure hope when it does occur it is not painless.

    I hope to see some of you in Windsor on the 16th.


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