“Charges dropped against priest” & related article

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Pembroke Daily Observer

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 3:25:58 EST PM

By Sean Chase, Daily Observer

 

PEMBROKE – Charges against a former Pembroke priest have been dropped.

The Crown formally withdrew two charges against Father Howard Chabot on Tuesday in a Pembroke provincial court. Crown attorney Jason Nicol told the court the charges were being withdrawn because there was “no reasonable cause for conviction.”

Justice Robert Selkirk consented to the Crown’s request. Chabot, 73, had been arrested July 29 and charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of gross indecency. He had been represented by defense counsel Mark Huckabone.

He has served at Holy Name Parish in Pembroke. Chabot was ordained in 1968 and retired from full-time ministry in 2005 at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish because of health problems. In 2009, he was honoured for more than 20 years service as chaplain for the Pembroke Police Service when he stepped down from the position.

Comments posted on Daily Observer website

I don’t know if the priest in question is truthful. Maybe the victim will come forward and release his name and then we will see where it goes from there.

. . .

straightshooter

The very idea that this priest’s name can be dragged through the mud in every newspaper across Canada and then have the charges quietly dropped is disgusting. No case should receive this kind of publicity unless or until the judge determines that is going to trial.

As is often said in the U.S. Justice system, you could have a ham sandwich indicted – it does not mean by any stretch of the imagination that a person is guilty of anything. Even a site like Sylvia’s site which purports to look out for victims of sexual abuse cannot move past the erroneous suggestion that this happens to be a priest ‘that got away with it’. In point of fact, there is no case, no conviction, no victim as proven in a court of law.

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FATHER CHABOT HAS SEX CHARGES DROPPED

Arnprior Today

11/14/2013 5:32:25 AM


Charges have been dropped against former Pembroke priest Father Howard Chabot. He is one of several Pembroke diocese priests who have been charged or convicted of sexual misconduct over the last few years. The 73-year-old Chabot appeared in court Tuesday (Nov 12) and had a count of sexual assault and one charge of gross indecency withdrawn because the Crown felt there was no reasonable chance of a conviction. Chabot had been free on a recognizance since his arrest on July 29th. In addition to his parish duties – he served as chaplain to the Pembroke Police Service for 20 years.

6 Responses to “Charges dropped against priest” & related article

  1. Paula Brenner says:

    He’s a neighbour; a super guy. I know that that does not make him innocent, but have you noticed that NO one else came forward to support this claim. That isn’t the norm. The case was dropped because there wasn’t one.

  2. Sylvia says:

    Where do you ever get the notion that it isn’t the “norm” for other victims to come forward within three-and-a-half months of charges being laid ? or, for that matter, that is is necessary to have more than one complainant for a case to go to trial?

    One example re no one coming forward: Michael Gallop just posted a comment. It was his charges which saw Father Benoit Fortier convicted in 2003. No other victims came forward at the time. Three years later another victim came forward and more charges were laid (Fortier was deemed unfit to stand trial and charges were stayed) LAst year another victim, Pierre Joly spoke up

    I know of many cases in which one victim came forward and charges were laid, and meanwhile one of more victims of the same priest are still struggling and trying to work up the strength to come forward. I also know of countless cases where charges were laid and other victims came forward many months later.

    Need I mention the new charges against Father Dan Miller? That complainant didn’t come forward when the others did.

    What’s the norm Paula?

    There was, for example, one victim whose allegations saw Father Ernie Garcia CSsR convicted. One. No other victims came forward. The Crown prosecuted. Garcia was convicted.

    There have been many cases which go to trial with one victim. Many.

    I’m not going on. Please take the time to read what has been happening.

  3. Leona says:

    So Paula, are you saying that child abuse only happens when there is more than one victim? I don’t know this priests guilt or innocence, but I do know the feeling of going to the police believing wholehearted that you are the only victim, and what strength that takes. I know the only reason that another victim was found in my case, is that I was able to give a name to police of someone in the perps past who by the way he spoke about them made me think they may be. Since that time, I have become aware of other people who were his victims, but despite being successful and having large support networks they feel unable to step forward. The shame placed on a victim by the perp is immense. As long as there are people who will publicly shame the victim by declaring a perps innocence without all the facts, it will continue to be difficult for victims to step forward.

  4. Steve Campbell says:

    I can and do appreciate the work Sylvia is doing; however, it is a gross injustice to leave a person’s name on the list of accused when the justice system finds no case against him. Makes me wonder, down deep, where the true interests of Sylvia lie. Much the same can be said for Fr. Paul Abbass who was completely exonerated but still has his name on the list where so many glance over it and don’t read the follow up. Exoneration means he shouldn’t be on the list in the first place. True justice should prevail over a prurient interest in keeping the waters muddy. I have no association with either of these priests.

  5. B says:

    Steve,

    I would, respectfully, disagree. A priest who has been accused, even if falsely, will carry that as a historical fact for the rest of his life. Just like anyone in the prison system who was falsely imprisoned and is later exonerated, or someone who won an Olympic medal only to have it later removed for doping, this information will always remain a part of their life story.

    Because rumours continue to spread, people will ask down the line, “What happened in that case about X…?” I think it is good that Sylvia maintain the information as she has it, so that those who seek these newspaper notices, etc, in the future have a source to find them. They can then read everything provided, and make up their minds whether the evidence justified the verdict reached. In the case of someone who has been exonerated, it is better to maintain the paper trail than try to pretend it never existed. Anyone who is interested in the case will not just “glance over it and not read the follow up,” but will be happy to read whatever is available.

    Would you not agree that in situations where a case has been dismissed against a particular offender, yet there are still many victims who are wondering whether to come forward, it is crucial that the truth of what happened in the first case not be whitewashed away, but still available to consider? For me, it is always the victims who must be the first consideration.

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