priest, Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie Ontario. Ordained 1956. 1994 GUILTY plea to charges related to the sexual abuse of a young girl from age 13 to 15 between the years 1957 to 1960, and again when the girl was an adult from 1978 to 1981 (the victim became a nun.) Nine month sentence. Lawsuit launched 1997
30 August 2004: Reasons for judgment as to Costs
14 July 2004: P.D. v Allen Reasons for Judgement
The following dates and information are drawn from Canadian Catholic Church Directories (CCCD) of the same date. Additional timelines will be added as information becomes available.
2011: North Bay
2010: North Bay
1985-1986, 1992, 2000, 2010: address on Stockdale Rd., North Bay
2004: lawsuit to trial: victim awarded $210,500
1997: lawsuit launched
1973-74: Pro-Cathedral, North Bay, Ontario (Rector Father D.J. Murphy)
1971-72: Pastor, St. Elizabeth, Temagami
1967, 1969: listed as “Priest in charge, Hearst shanties, Hearst Seminary, Ont.” with mailing address a P.O. Box for St. Elizabeth, Temagami
1959: Hearst seminary
Church won’t appeal award
02 September 2004
Woman to receive $210,000 in damages for the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of a priest 30 years ago
Lawyers for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie have decided not to appeal an award of $210,000 in damages to a woman sexually abused as a teenager by a North Bay priest.
Lawyer Harry W. McMurtry, of Blaney McMurtry LLP in Toronto, said that, while there is a “whole host of considerations” when considering an appeal, he and his client “did not think an appeal was merited.”
Ontario Superior Court Justice Douglas Lissaman has ordered the church to pay the damages to a victim identified only as P.D. in her lawsuit.
Lissaman’s 55-page ruling was released July 14 after a trial in Toronto that began Oct. 27, 2003, and ended Feb. 23 of this year.
The justice awarded general and aggravated damages to P.D. for childhood abuse, as well as special damages for counselling she sought or will seek related to the abuse.
McMurtry said earlier that he doubted the diocese would appeal the general and aggravated damages awards, but he thought it might object to paying the pre-judgment interest the justice awarded.
While P.D.’s lawsuit was filed in 1997, Lissaman awarded her pre- judgment interest dating back to 1992, at a rate of 9.1 per cent, which essentially doubled the size of the award.
McMurtry said the diocese’s insurer would likely pay the award in a lump sum.
The only matter to be resolved is court costs, which he said would be “significant.”
Both the plaintiff and the defendants will pay a percentage of those costs, said McMurtry.
The North Bay priest at the centre of the lawsuit, Rev. Richard Allen, was represented by separate legal counsel in the civil trial.
During the trial, court heard that P.D., who later become a nun in the diocese and worked as a teacher, was assaulted by Allen at a church in North Bay between 1959 and 1960.
P.D. did not disclose the abuse for more than 30 years. Allen was sentenced to nine months in jail in 1994.
The P.D. ruling was the second major damages award against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie in the last year.
Last fall, it was ordered to pay $1.4 million to a 33-year-old Sudbury man who had been repeatedly sexually assaulted by Rev. Thomas O’Dell at a Sudbury-area church in the early 1980s.
The diocese has appealed that decision.
McMurtry revealed that his law firm is also defending the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie in a lawsuit being brought against it and other defendants by plaintiff Charles Alloy, formerly of Sault Ste. Marie.
Alloy is claiming he was sexually assaulted by Rev. John Sullivan, a priest in Sault Ste. Marie.
The Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie and the Huron Superior Catholic District School Board are also named in the lawsuit. McMurtry said the plaintiff alleges he suffered physical abuse at the hands of teachers with that board.
A call to the office of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie was not returned.
Church ordered to pay damages to sex abuse victim
22 July 2004
TORONTO – The Roman Catholic Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie has been ordered to pay at least $210,000 in damages to a woman who was sexually abused as a teenager by a priest on at least 100 occasions in the late 1950s.
Pre-judgment interest charges, estimated to be about $200,000, as well as legal bills may ultimately add several hundred thousand dollars to the total cost for the diocese.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Douglas Lissaman ordered the church to pay the damages to the victim, identified only as P.D., in a 55-page ruling released last week following a lengthy trial in Toronto earlier this year.
This is the second major damages award against the diocese in the past year.
Last fall, it was ordered to pay $1.4 million in damages to a 33-year-old man who had been repeatedly sexually assaulted by Rev. Thomas O’Dell at a Sudbury-area church in the early 1980s.
In his ruling, Lissaman said he was awarding “aggravated damages” for the childhood abuse and “the somewhat thoughtless treatment by the diocese after P.D. reported her abuse to the bishop in 1992.” The court heard that P.D., who later became a nun in the diocese and worked as a teacher, was turned down by Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe when she asked for financial assistance for therapy.
The Sault Ste. Marie diocese extends across northern Ontario and Plouffe received widespread attention last summer when he said Prime Minister Paul Martin could not be a good Catholic and legalize same-sex marriage.
“I find the diocese treatment of P.D. after disclosure as indifferent almost to the extent of callousness and indicative of the Diocese’s attitude of no liability,” said Lissaman.
P.D. was repeatedly assaulted by Rev. Richard Allen at a church in North Bay, Ont., between 1958 and 1960, the court heard. The assaults began when the victim was 13 and she performed clerical duties at the rectory. Allen, who was 29 when the abuse began, would approach the girl from behind and touch or fondle her breasts or press his crotch against her buttocks. There were several incidents of digital vaginal penetration. The priest would tell the girl not to complain and say “what’s the matter with you, settle down … this is fun,” the court heard.
P.D. did not disclose the abuse for more than 30 years and Allen was sentenced to nine months in jail in 1994. “Father Allen has always been very regretful of what occurred,” his lawyer Gregg Ellies said Thursday. He said the priest battled alcoholism which affected his memory and he showed remorse by agreeing to plead guilty to the criminal charges.
Ellies stressed that P.D. was the first person to lodge a complaint against Allen. The lawyer said the diocese was “in a very difficult position” when it was first confronted with the allegations in the early 1990’s.
P.D. became a nun in 1966, although she left the order in 1989 and later retired from a long career in teaching as a result of her own problems with alcoholism.
Her lawyers were seeking in excess of $2.2 million in damages and argued that the childhood sexual abuse led to her alcoholism as an adult.
Harry McMurtry, lawyer for the diocese, suggested that P.D. was entitled to “modest damages” of $25,000 to $50,000 and only for the childhood sexual abuse.
Lissaman ruled that P.D. had not proven on a “balance of probabilities” that the sexual abuse was a “necessary contributing factor” to her alcoholism. In assessing total damages, the judge said it was “shocking” and “almost defies credulity” that 100 incidents of abuse occurred in the rectory without the knowledge of church officials. “The diocese, like Admiral Nelson at the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801, chose not see what going on in their midst,” the judge wrote.
The diocese and its lawyer were not available for comment Thursday. They have until Aug. 13 to file notice of intent to appeal the ruling.