Published On Thu Oct 14 2010
By Mary Ormsby Feature Writer
Sexual abuse charges surrounding a Roman Catholic priest have spread to a third Ontario city where Rev. William Hodgson Marshall taught mathematics and coached basketball at all-boys high schools.
The Greater Sudbury Police Wednesday confirmed there’s a warrant out for the arrest of the 88-year-old Basilian priest, who’s wanted on six counts of gross indecency and six counts of indecent assault. The offences date from January 1960 to December of 1970 and involve six men who were minors at the time. The six complainants were students at Sudbury’s St. Charles College.
Marshall, now living in a Basilian retirement home and battling skin cancer, is also facing abuse allegations in Windsor and Toronto from the 1950s and 1980s.
The priest’s defence lawyer Andrew Bradie said there’s a “decent anticipation” all charges will be transferred to Windsor to be dealt with efficiently in one jurisdiction. If the Sudbury charges are officially moved to Windsor, police said Marshall would no longer be considered “wanted” in Sudbury.
“I think there’s going to be an effort made to coordinate a resolution of all charges, if that’s possible, to the extent we have one crown attorney involved, one judge and one defence lawyer (to) accommodate everyone’s interests,” Bradie told the Star Wednesday.
Congregation of St. Basil’s spokesperson Rev. Timothy Scott the religious order is “cooperating fully” with police.
“The Basilian Fathers wish to express our shame and deep regret that one of our members is alleged to have abused children,” Scott said in a statement Wednesday. He added that the Basilians will provide “support and restorative therapy” to victims.
In Windsor, Marshall is charged with one count of sexual assault and five counts of indecent assault. He taught at Windsor’s Assumption College Catholic High School in the mid-1950s and at Holy Names high school, where he was also principal 30 years later.
In Toronto, Marshall faces two counts of indecent assault stemming from a 57-year-old incident involving a former student at St. Michael’s College School. Toronto police are investigating three additional complaints about the priest.
In total, 13 people have accused Marshall of assaulting them in incidents spread over four decades. The oldest charge dates back to 1953 when the priest allegedly molested a 15-year-old after playing basketball at St. Mike’s.
Marshall is described as infirm and did not attend Wednesday’s court appearance in Windsor; Bradie represented him. The priest’s next Windsor court date is Oct. 27.
Bradie has acted for clergy previously. Earlier this year, he negotiated a plea agreement for former Windsor priest John Duarte. Duarte was sentenced to 18 months for abusing adolescent boys at the Haitian mission he founded.
Bradie also defended late priest Charles Sylvestre, who at age 83, pled guilty in 2006 to sexually abusing 47 girls over the four decades he ministered in the London and Chatham areas of Ontario.