“Priests appeal $2.5M award in sex abuse case” & related statement from the Basilians

Share Button

Father William Hodgson Marshall was former principal at St. Mary’s College

Soo Today

25 May 2018

270418_william-hodgson-marshall

Father William Hodgson Marshall

Less than a month after a Toronto judge awarded a Sudbury man $2.5 million for compensation for the abuse he endured at the hands of a Catholic priest, lawyers for the church announced they were appealing the verdict.

In a statement on their website, the Basilian Fathers write they don’t believe the monetary award is “legally sound or justified.”

Specifically, they are appealing the $500,000 awarded in punitive damages and $1.58 million in lost income.

“The Basilian Fathers are not appealing the awards for general and aggravated damages, nor for the amount awarded for counselling costs,” the statement said.

“Those amounts will be paid to Mr. MacLeod shortly.”

The case centred on Father William Hodgson Marshall, who was convicted in 2011 of abusing 17 students at schools over a 38-year period. Marshall, who worked in Rochester, Toronto, Windsor, Sudbury, and Sault Ste. Marie, was reported a total of six times over his career but continued in his role as a priest and teacher.

He died in 2014.

The Basilians are a Roman Catholic religious order of priests who operate on three continents, with their headquarters in Toronto. MacLeod was a student at St. Charles College high school in Sudbury from 1963-1967.

The statement from the Basilians said when MacLeod first brought forward his claim in 2012, “the Basilian Fathers accepted full responsibility for the actions of Hodgson Marshall, and continue to be committed to providing support to the victims of abuse, as well as ensuring that policies and protocols are in place that support the eradication of sexual abuse.

“As Mr. MacLeod made his circumstances known throughout the course of his lawsuit, the Basilian Fathers focused on efforts to fairly compensate Mr. MacLeod. They think the appellate court can best make a final determination of this compensation.”

But lawyers for MacLeod described the decision to appeal as proof that the priests are “unapologetic and unrepentant.

“Now 27 days (after the ruling), and only a few days short of their appeal deadline, the Basilians opted for more litigation instead of reconciliation against the 68-year-old man who as a youth was sexually abused by one of their own,” says the release from Rob Talach, of Beckett Personal Injury Lawyers.

“Shockingly, it was disclosed in the trial that the Basilians had in fact received at least three complaints of sexual misconduct by Father Marshall before he was assigned to St. Charles College and another three afterwards.”

MacLeod is quoted as saying in the release that the Basilians appear to have learned nothing.

“Once again the Basilians have shown their true colours,” MacLeod said in the statement. “When faced with a judgment carefully considered by six citizens of the community do they say mea culpa and ask for forgiveness for their sins? No, they act like a corporate entity and appeal the decision.

“But they according to their own words are supposed to have a higher calling then just being a profit centre. Because of their higher calling they pay no taxes. When ‘higher calling’ organizations act like profit centres they should lose their tax exempt status and be treated like any other corporation.”

– Sudbury.com

__________________________________________

Beckett Personal Injury Lawyer

23 May 2018

Unrepentant Catholic Order Appeals Verdict

by Press Release

Unapologetic and unrepentant, the Basilian Fathers of Toronto (“Basilians”) today quietly faxed a Notice of Appeal in a legal case which garnered national media attention only a few weeks ago. It was April 26, 2018 when a Toronto civil jury delivered a judgment in the total sum of $2,570,181 which included $500,000 in punitive damages against the Basilians, a Roman Catholic Religious Order of priests who operate on three continents, including all of Canada and the United States, with their headquarters located in Toronto, Ontario.

Now 27 days later and only a few days short of their appeal deadline, the Basilians opted for more litigation instead of reconciliation against the 68 year old man who as a youth was sexually abused by one of their own. The case involved the historical sexual abuse of Rod MacLeod, a student at St. Charles College high school in Sudbury from 1963-1967. The abuser was Father Hodgson Marshall, then a Basilian priest who in 2011 was ultimately convicted of abusing 17 young people over his 38 year career. Marshall had served in Rochester, Toronto, Windsor, Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie. Shockingly, it was disclosed in the trial that the Basilians had in fact received at least three complaints of sexual misconduct by Father Marshall before he was assigned to St. Charles College and another three afterwards. The Basilian pattern of response to such complaints appeared to simply be to transfer Marshall.

The plaintiff, Mr. Rod MacLeod had originally responded to the verdict by saying “I hope this outcome will cause the Basilians to rethink their position on how they treat sex abuse victims; stop listening to their legal experts and listen to their hearts and the teachings of Jesus Christ”. With this appeal it appears that lawyer’s advice was preferred to that of Christ’s.

In response to the appeal, Mr. MacLeod states “Once again the Basilians have shown their true colours. When faced with a judgment carefully considered by six citizens of the community do they say mea culpa and ask for forgiveness for their sins? No, they act like a corporate entity and appeal the decision. But they according to their own words are supposed to have a higher calling then just being a profit centre. Because of their higher calling they pay no taxes. When “higher calling” organizations act like profit centres they should lose their tax exempt status and be treated like any other corporation.”

Mr. Rob Talach, lawyer for the victim responded to the appeal as follows; “The Basilians clearly don’t like to be judged and will continue to spend charitable funds on legal bills in an effort to deny a 68 year old man his rightfully obtained compensation. Not only is the appeal itself offensive in the circumstances but so is the fact that they waited almost a month to do so.

The media contact person for this matter is Robert Talach who can be reached at (519) 639-2807 (c) or [email protected]

___________________________________

Congregation of St. Basil website

Latest Media Statement from the Basilian Fathers

May 22, 2018 – As an update to our April 27, 2018 statement, the Basilian Fathers will be pursuing an appeal of the judgment rendered April 26 in favour of Mr. Rod MacLeod in relation to the punitive damages awarded and the damages awarded for economic loss. It is believed that those two awards are not legally sound or justified. The Basilian Fathers are not appealing the awards for general and aggravated damages, nor for the amount awarded for counselling costs. Those amounts will be paid to Mr. MacLeod shortly.

When Mr. MacLeod first brought forward his claim in 2012, the Basilian Fathers accepted full responsibility for the actions of Hodgson Marshall, and continue to be committed to providing support to the victims of abuse, as well as ensuring that policies and protocols are in place that support the eradication of sexual abuse.

As Mr. MacLeod made his circumstances known throughout the course of his lawsuit, the Basilian Fathers focused on efforts to fairly compensate Mr. MacLeod. They think the appellate court can best make a final determination of this compensation.

For further information contact:

Father Thomas Rosica, CSB
Media Spokesperson
Basilian Fathers
(416) 879-5766

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *