“Former Area Priest Facing Civil Suit” & related article

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A civil suit is being launched against former Windsor and Chatham area priest Linus Bastien and the Roman Catholic Diocese of London.

Bastien was first arrested in October 2011 and charged with indecent assault linked to his time ministering in Maidstone.

Speaking to BlackburnNews.com, lawyer Rob Talach with Beckett Personal Injury Lawyers in London says the civil case will force Father Bastien to the stand.

“I like to think the evidence is more complete in a civil case because one side doesn’t have the cop-out of being able to sit there silent,” says Talach.

The London-based lawyer is representing three complainants he says are tired of waiting on the criminal case against Bastien to move forward. Talach says his clients are worried Bastien may not face justice as the former priest nears 90 years old and felt the need to move forward with the civil case.

“The unfortunate reality of our justice system is the only currency is money and I know a lot of people instantly go, ‘It’s all about money,’ but what other currency do we have that crosses all barriers?” says Talach, adding getting compensation for his clients isn’t the only priority. “On a societal level, it’s the money that is lost by the institution because that’s often the motivation for systemic change and more vigilance and the like.”

Bastien served at parishes in Windsor, Maidstone, Wheatley, Stevenson, St. Joachim and Tilbury.

He’s been arrested and charged multiple times with sexual related offences.


Alleged Victim Wants Closure From Priest


One of father Linus Bastien’s alleged victims wants him to accept and admit the sexual abuse he claims happened.

Complainant John, whose real name and identity is protected under a publication ban, is one of three behind a $3.1-million civil lawsuit against Bastien and the Diocese of London.

John says he wants Bastien to take the stand.

“Acceptance. You know what, ‘I did this,’” John says he wants to hear from Bastien. “Here’s a man of the morale cloth and man he’s just been one of the biggest perpetrators of exactly what he’s trying to instill in his parishioners.”

John, who was 13 at the time, and six others were allegedly sexually assaulted while Bastien was a minister, some of that time in Maidstone.

Criminal proceedings are still taking place against Bastien after being arrested and charged in October 2011. His alleged victims say the delay in Canada’s justice system is frustrating.

Many involved say they hope to see all court cases come to a conclusion.

“It would be a big weight off my shoulder. It would allow me to start to heal internally,” says John. “Being able to put the hurt and pain and distrust, all the other demons that come with being put in that type of situation.”

Bastien is approaching his 90s and some feel they may not get justice if he dies before the court cases are finished. John’s lawyer Robert Talach says he will move to examine Bastien “the second the criminal trial is done.”

If Bastien dies before the the trial is over, the criminal process automatically ends. Talach says Bastien is not obligated to testify in a criminal case, whereas civilly he doesn’t have that option.

John, who’s now a middle-aged man, says he simply wants closure and hopes to get that before Bastien passes.

“It would be a very sad day to know that I’ve come forward and put myself in a position of vulnerability and then to find out that it was all for not,” John says.

Currently Talach says Bastien may be staying at a retirement home in Chatham. A tentative trial date has been set for March.

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