Priest Accused in Sexual Assaults Takes Own Life

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CFRA radio Ottawa

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

CFRA News Staff

A former Roman Catholic priest convicted of sexually assaulting seven altar boys in the 1980s took his own life at his McEwan Avenue apartment building early Tuesday morning.

His body was discovered near the building’s parking lot by a neighbour.

For nine years, Father Dale Crampton served at Nepean’s St. Maurice Church and was a school trustee in the late 1970’s.

In 1986, he pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting seven altar boys, between the ages of 10 and 14, from 1973 to 1982.

He served eight months in prison after his suspended sentence was appealed in 1987.

Sources tell CFRA news that Crampton left behind a note, now in the hands of investigators.

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Priest convicted of sexual assaulting seven altar boys kills himself

Ottawa Citizen

 October 13, 2010 4:04 PM

By Kristy Nease and Meghan Hurley 

OTTAWA — A priest convicted of sexually assaulting seven altar boys in the 1980s killed himself early Tuesday morning in Ottawa at his highrise apartment building overlooking the Ottawa River.

When police were called to 30 McEwan Avenue near the Ottawa River Parkway — just blocks away from his childhood home — it was 5 a.m. A neighbour, who found him unconscious near the apartment’s parking lot, called police.

Father Dale Crampton, who served at St. Maurice Church in Nepean for nine years and was a school trustee in the late 1970s, pleaded guilty in 1986 to indecently assaulting seven altar boys between 10 and 14 years old from 1973 to 1982.

Robert Talach, the London, Ont.-based lawyer who handled the case on behalf of a victim, said Wednesday that an Ottawa police officer called him Tuesday to tell him about Crampton’s suicide.

The archdiocese refused comment Wednesday, and said Ottawa’s archbishop, Terrence Prendergast, was in Rome.

The assaults occurred at various church rectories and at Crampton’s cottage in West Carleton, and consisted mainly of Crampton fondling the boys’ clothed and naked private parts. Crampton did not threaten or physically injure the victims.

Crampton was diagnosed with alcoholism and pedophilia — with a preference for boys — and was originally given a suspended sentence, with no jail time, placed on probation and ordered to undergo psychiatric counselling. An appeal of that sentence was upheld in June 1987, and Crampton was sentenced to eight months in jail.

In February 1990, the archdiocese paid $150,000 to the families of three of the seven altar boys who had been abused by Crampton, but Alex said that he was not aware of that settlement and was never contacted by the archdiocese or the other families.

He said the archdiocese has never apologized to him or approached him in any way to offer assistance.

Last year, one of those seven victims, who can be identified only as “Alex,” filed a $2 million lawsuit against Crampton and the Archdiocese of Ottawa. The claim names Dale Crampton, a former pastor at St. Maurice Church on Perry Street, and the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Ottawa as defendants.

It charges that Crampton’s actions and the archdiocese’s negligence caused Alex mental and emotional suffering, and impaired his opportunities to enjoy a normal adolescence and adulthood, among other damages.

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