Desrochers: Father Albert Desrochers osm

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Desrochers Albert osm

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Albert Desrochers osm

Albert M Desrochers osm

Jean-Louis Desrochers osm

Priest, member of Religious Order of Priests known as Servites of Mary  (Servites de Marie) Initials osm behind his name indicate that he is a member of the order – often referred to as Servites.  Ordained 1941.  Sexually abused four brothers ages 11,10, 8 and 7.

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17 December 2011Father Albert Desrochers obituary

2002Attorney General of Ontario v. Father Albert Desrochers, et al  – Supreme Court of Canada  (Application for leave to appeal from the judgment of the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed with costs) It sounds as though in the end the Ontario Attorney General had to ante in to pay the settlement? and that because of the Crown’s failure to prosecute Desrochers back in 1978?

Lawyers representing various parties at the Supreme Court of Canada in Attorney General of Ontario v. Father Albert Desrochers et al

15 November 2001Paquette v Desrochers 2001 Ontario Court of Appeal  (Ontario Court of Appeal rules that the fiduciary duty and malicious failure to prosecute claims were wrongly struck at the pleadings stage [McKinnon ruling of December 2000]  That means that the Ontario Attorney General was back on the hook to pay or help to pay for damages done to the Paquette boys)

28 December 2000Paquette v Desrochers Ontario Supreme Court (Justice Colin McKinnon grants Motion by Ontario Attorney General to be struck from third party claim made by Father Albert Desrocher and Les Pères Servites de Marie de Québec.  The motion, filed by Father Desrochers and the Servites, would have compelled the Ontario Attorney General to help pay damages because of the Crown’s failure to prosecute in 1978)

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The following information is drawn from Canadian Catholic Church Directories (CCCD) which I have on hand, the 1980 Ontario Catholic Directory (OCD80), Father Desrochers obituary (obit), media (M) and legal documents (L)

21 December 2011:  Died, age 94, at Francisan Infirmary, Montreal, Quebec (obit)

2002:  Not listed in index (CCCD)

15 November 2001:  Ontario Court of Appeal rules that the fiduciary duty and malicious failure to prosecute claims were wrongly struck at the pleadings stage (McKinnon ruling of December 2000)

December 2000:  Justice Colin McKinnon grants Motion by Ontario Attorney General to be struck from third party claim made by Father Albert Desrocher and Les Pères Servites de Marie de Québec

1998:  GUILTY plea to four counts of sexual misconduct, comprised of two convictions for indecent assault on a male and two convictions for gross indecency. He was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment. (L)

1998:  Not listed in index (CCCD)

1997: 25 charges laid relating to the sex abuse of four Paquette brothers

1997:  6805 rue de Marseille,  Montreal. H1N 1M9  Ph: 514-259-2509 (CCCD) address and phone number for St. Donat Roman Catholic Church, Montreal, Quebec (Pastor Father Andre Maihot osm)

1996: charges laid in relation to sex abuse of of boys in Elk Lake, Ontario – four counts each of indecent assault and gross indecency (M)

1996:  6805 rue de Marseille,  Montreal. H1N 1M9  Ph: 514-259-2509 (CCCD) address and phone number for St. Donat Roman Catholic Church, Montreal, Quebec

1995:  address and phone number for St. Donat Roman Catholic Church, Montreal, Quebec (Pastor Father Andre Maihot osm) (CCCD)

1994, 1993, 1992, 1991:  1237 boul St-Andre, C.P. 160, Acton Vale, Quebec Ph 514-546-2355 (CCCD) (Saint Hyacinthe, Quebec) Address and phone number for St. Andre Roman Catholic Church in Acton Vale – Pastor Father Claude Prefontaine osm)

1985-86:   Address for St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church, Ottawa, Ontario (Pastor, Father Andre Carrier) (CCCD)

1980:  Matechewan, Ontario (Mary Queen of the World is the Church, and pastor at the time was an Oblate priest Father R. Payant omi)  (OCD80)  Is this accurate?  Did he really go back to the Diocese of Timmins?  Can anyone confirm or refute?

1978:  moved to Ottawa. Ontario (M)

07 February 1978:  sex abuse complaints received by Constable Boyle (L)

[10] During the course of the preliminary enquiry, Constable Boyle testified that he initially received complaints from the plaintiffs alleging sexual assault on February 7, 1978; he believed that there were reasonable and probable grounds on which to charge Father Desrochers; he met with the Crown Attorney, Mr. Arthur, on February 8, 1978. Mr. Arthur believed that a different course of action would be appropriate. A meeting was arranged with police officers, including Constable Boyle, Mr. Arthur and the Bishop of Timmins and it was decided that Father Desrochers would be removed from the diocese as quickly as possible.

(L)

1977-78:  marriage counsellor for parents of victims – encouraged parents to spend time away from children – he babysat – and molested the boys (M)

1973-74:  Pastor, St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic church, Maniwake, Quebec (CCCD) (according to “A Victim” he was a priest at St. Pat’s from 1970 to 1974)

1968-69:  St. Raymond Roman Catholic Church, St. Jacques St., Montreal, Quebec (Pastor Father Gregoire-M St. Germain) (CCCD)

1967:  Chaplain, Belmont Park, Galiano Crescent, Victoria, British Columbia (CCCD)

1959:  Index lists his address as Servite “counvent,”  427 Booth St., Ottawa, Ontario (CCCD)  This is the address for St. Anthony of Padua

1941:  ORDAINED

1917:  Born

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Bitter legacy from priest’s sexual abuse still lingers ; Four brothers want the Catholic church to accept blame for their years of torment

The Toronto Star

25 May 2002

Scott Simmie

Kerry Paquette still doesn’t feel comfortable in a Roman Catholic Church.

It’s easy to understand why.

As an 11-year-old altar boy in the late 1970s, he says he was repeatedly abused by a priest named Albert Desrochers in Northern Ontario. Kerry’s brothers say the same happened to them.

Since then, the Paquettes have been looking for justice. They say it still eludes them.

“Not once did any of us get an apology,” says Kerry.

Eventually, in 1997, Desrochers was charged with a variety of sexual offences involving the boys. A year later, he pleaded guilty to some of those charges and was sentenced to four concurrent six- month terms.

The Paquette brothers have since been mired in a civil suit against Desrochers, his religious order, and the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of the Diocese of Timmins.

It’s a case where one defence team is suing the attorney- general’s ministry, arguing the police should have arrested their client many years earlier. That team is also suing the Paquette parents, suggesting they could have done a better job of helping their sons cope with the abuse.

“Like everything else you see on TV right now, the church isn’t taking responsibility. They’re pointing fingers at us, our parents- at everyone except themselves,” says Kerry Paquette.

The story of the Paquettes has more twists and turns than most mystery novels. This week, lawyers representing the brothers filed a motion seeking greater punitive damages. They’re also asking a judge to speed this case to trial because many of the witnesses are getting old. Desrochers is 85.

“We’re seeking very high punitive damages (because) … we believe the church took steps at the time to bury the situation. We figure it will be a landmark case in Canada,” says Owen Smith, senior partner with the New Liskeard firm of Smith, Wowk.

Although The Star has an editorial policy of not identifying those who have been sexually abused, the Paquette brothers say they want their names and their story known. It’s taken them many years, but Kerry says they’ve come to realize that what happened to them as youngsters was not their fault.

“If I can help just one or two people this has happened to by coming out with it, I’ll have accomplished a goal. And I want people to know this stuff doesn’t just happen in big cities. It happens in small towns, too.”

The case alleges church officials either knew, or should have known, that Father Albert Desrochers had a sexual appetite for young children. But instead of directly addressing the issue, the suit says authorities merely covered up or ignored any problems and moved Desrochers from Quebec to Northern Ontario in the mid-1970s.

There, it’s alleged, he repeatedly sexually and physically abused the Paquette brothers at the community of Elk Lake.

“These institutions knew, or ought to have known, of the defendant priest’s proclivities,” reads a court document filed on the brothers’ behalf this week.

“The order (Les Pres de Servites de Marie de Quebec) sloughed Father Desrochers off to another posting thereby exposing Father Desrochers to the plaintiffs.”

That is a huge part of what the lawsuit argues: that church authorities placed Desrochers on a collision course with new victims.

Recent high-profile U.S. cases involve scenarios where known abusers were shuffled to different locales, where they again victimized children. In 1974, there were allegations, which Desrochers denied, that he’d fondled a young girl. The priest- by his own admission- told other priests during confessional that he had sexual thoughts involving children.

“They have an offender priest, they hush it up, and they move him around. What we’re saying is that is totally egregious conduct,” says John Wowk, who’s also working on behalf of the Paquette brothers.

Part of the reason high punitive damages are being sought is because of the length of time it took for Desrochers to be charged. Although police were informed of the abuse in 1978, the priest left town without being charged. It wasn’t until 1997, after the brothers again told their story to police, that charges were laid.

That nearly 20-year delay, the case argues, is because church officials managed to get the police to sweep things under the rug so long ago.

“They … took steps to stifle the investigation and follow-up and, in so doing, were complicit in the abuse,” reads the court document. The allegations have not been proven in court.

The lawyer defending Desrochers and the order sees the case from a different perspective.

Any delay was due to inaction on the part of legal authorities and the boys’ parents. As a result, Desrochers’ lawyers have sued the Ontario attorney-general’s ministry and the Paquette parents.

“The boys reported to their parents that something had happened,” explains Charles Gibson of the Ottawa firm Vincent, Dagenais, Gibson. “The crown attorney and the diocese of Timmins then made an arrangement whereby the priest Desrochers was asked to leave the parish. And they did nothing after that, neither the parents nor the crown.”

“The plaintiffs have complained that their biggest problem arises from the fact it was never dealt with. And it wasn’t dealt with because the OPP and the crown attorney didn’t do anything about it.”

The ministry of the attorney-general has filed papers with the Supreme Court, hoping to extricate itself from the lawsuit. And while ministry policy is not to comment on ongoing cases, spokesperson Brendan Crawley confirmed the ministry was being sued.

“Not only does the church slough off these cases and try to move these people around, but they point the finger at other people,” says Wowk.

Kerry and his three brothers all say they were deeply affected by the abuse, which occurred when they ranged in age from 7 to 11. And all say they can’t understand why church authorities don’t simply admit what happened, instead of involving others.

“My parents don’t deserve the bulls— they’re going through with this,” says Kerry Paquette, now 35.

“My parents are victims as well. They trusted this priest to take care of their children while they were taking care of their marriage.”

And that, apparently, is how the abuse began. During 1977-78, Desrochers served as a marriage counsellor for the Paquette parents. As part of their therapy, he apparently urged them to spend afternoons, then evenings, even weekends, away from the children. On those occasions, he would babysit the brothers, several of whom served as altar boys. It’s alleged much of the abuse occurred during those times when he was in charge of their care.

Legal transcripts of pretrial questioning of the Paquettes are filled with details of Desrochers’ assaults.

“Many nights, I woke up. Many nights, I remember him laying on top of me,” Kerry Paquette testified. “Many nights, his fat face is sitting right here with his little whiskers and his gray stubble and his breathing right in my face, many times.”

Details of the alleged assaults range from forced masturbation to painful anal intercourse lasting up to 45 minutes. Kerry Paquette has gone through several operations to clear up recurring venereal warts he says were caused by Desrochers.

The brothers also allege the priest rewarded sexual compliance with chocolate bars but frequently strapped one of them with a leather belt as a warning to keep silent about their sexual acts.

Desrochers’ lawyer does not dispute there was some contact between his client and the boys. However, Charles Gibson says “the vast majority of the allegations in the statement of claim were not proven in the criminal case.”

For the Paquette boys, the nightmare did not end when the police were called in 1978. Soon after the priest left town, some very dark gossip began spreading through Elk Lake. Kerry Paquette says it plunged the brothers into a new phase of hell.

“I went back to school and this girl looked up and said: ‘There’s those priest lovers, those faggots.’ And that’s when it started.”

The brothers say they were beaten, goaded and taunted by their peers almost daily. They often left school early or had their mother pick them up to avoid schoolyard fights. Psychological assessments done on all four young men indicate damage from the bullying was severe. Three of them left town in their teens; one had repeated problems and wound up in a foster home.

“These young lads have been devastated. Their lives have been totally, totally disrupted and messed up,” says Owen Smith. “Their ability to work has been grievously affected.”

Pretrial questioning indicates this case may not be unique. Keeping things in the shadows, stated one priest, was widespread in Canada.

Father Maurice Magnan, representing the diocese of Timmins, stated that: “My understanding is that in those days, matters of sexual abuse of some kind were always something that was trying to be kept very low profile and hidden…. That was a formal church way of doing things…. That’s the way it was done in every diocese. Not just Timmins; all over.”

Although the lawyer for the Episcopal Corp. of the Diocese of Timmins declined comment, court documents show the diocese denies nearly every allegation in the statement of claim and says it is not liable for the actions of Father Desrochers.

It does, however, cross-claim the order of Les Pres Servites de Marie de Quebec. Meaning that, should the diocese be found liable for damages, it seeks to have the order cover the damages or share in that burden.

But it is the denial of abuse, given that Desrochers served time in jail, that deeply troubles the Paquette brothers.

“He pleaded guilty. What more do you need?” asks a frustrated Kerry Paquette. “They’re still not accepting the blame. He admitted to it. And they still will not accept responsibility. Why don’t they just swallow their pride and let people get on with their lives?”

Kerry Paquette no longer goes to church. He’ll attend the odd funeral, the odd wedding, but only reluctantly. “I just gives me a very eerie feeling,” he explains. “An uneasy, stomach-upsetting feeling to be in church and see altar boys and a priest. I just can’t do it any more.”

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Priest wants public to pay victims of his sex abuse

The Ottawa Citizen

20 February 2001

Cristin Schmitz

A Catholic priest who is facing an $8.2-million damages suit for the sexual abuse of four boys in the late 1970s has asked a court to make Ontario taxpayers pay because the authorities waited too long to charge and prosecute him.

A recent Superior Court decision, which is under appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal by the priest and his order, raises the spectre of criminals who are sued by their victims being able to force a province to help pay for some — or even all — of the damages if the defendants can prove that the Crown maliciously failed to prosecute them.

Rev. Albert Desrochers and his co-defendant, the Order of Les Peres Servites de Marie du Quebec, claim the province of Ontario should be on the hook to help pay for the psychological trauma and other damages allegedly sustained by the now-adult victims, because of the Crown’s failure to act.

They say the Crown allegedly failed maliciously to prosecute Father Desrochers in 1978, when police in Timmins, first investigated and concluded there was enough evidence to lay charges.

Instead, after the Crown and a senior police officer consulted with the bishop of Timmins, the priest was quietly transferred out of the diocese.

Twenty years later, Father Desrochers pleaded guilty to two counts of gross indecency and two counts of indecent assault on the brothers, Kerry Paquette, Dean Paquette, Dwayne Paquette and Jason Paquette, who were 11, 10, 9 and 7 at the time of the assaults.

Father Desrochers argues the Crown “maliciously” failed to prosecute him in 1978, and that this led to the plaintiffs suffering more mental anguish and other damages than they would have otherwise. He argues the Ontario government should have to pay a share of any damages that might eventually be awarded to the victims by a court.

In a groundbreaking decision last December that received little publicity, Superior Court Justice Colin McKinnon of Ottawa ruled that provincial attorneys general can be held liable for malicious failure to prosecute, and that in such rare cases criminals who are sued by their victims can claim the Crown should share in paying for the consequent damages.

Judge McKinnon’s ruling establishes for the first time in Canada that the Crown can be sued for maliciously failing to prosecute — a novel flip side to the established legal right to sue the Crown for malicious prosecution.

Although the judge ruled that criminals can proceed against the Crown for malicious failure to prosecute, they can do so only to the extent that they are claiming that the province should jointly share in compensating the innocent victims for the damages caused, he held.

However, the judge ultimately went on to throw out the claims by Father Desrochers and his order against the Attorney General of Ontario, since he concluded that missing evidence and the death of two key witnesses — the Crown attorney and the senior police officer involved in 1978 — would make it impossible to prove that the Crown’s failure to prosecute was malicious.

“To revisit the decision made in 1978 and the potential results of any prosecution at that time would be entirely hypothetical, speculative and incapable of proof to a probability,” Judge McKinnon held.

The judge said it was “entirely speculative,” for example, that the priest would have been convicted in 1978, and that the plaintiffs would have suffered less psychological harm had he been prosecuted and had they faced cross-examination.

The defendants are appealing the dismissal of their claims against the Ontario attorney general, said Ottawa lawyer Mathew Halpin, who represents Father Desrochers.

Mr. Halpin said it would be incorrect to characterize Father Desrochers’s claims for contribution and indemnity against the province as asking Ontario’s taxpayers to pay for damages caused by a convicted criminal.

“The Crown will be paying for its own wrongdoing in maliciously failing to prosecute, not paying for our client’s wrongdoing,” he argued.

However, under the Negligence Act, which makes co-defendants jointly and severally liable to pay a plaintiff’s full damages, “the possibility does exist that the attorney general could be … liable for the whole thing” if the claims by the defendants are allowed to proceed against the province, and if the defendants are unable to pay the full amount of any eventual judgment, said Mr. Halpin’s co- counsel, David Outerbridge. “The plaintiffs could go after the attorney general for the entire amount.”

Charles Gibson, lawyer for the order, which denies any involvement in, or responsibility for, Father Desrochers’s crimes, says his client is a victim too.

“The order had no active involvement in either the (crimes) or in the coverup — the deal between the Crown and the diocese — so we are an innocent third party as well. But for the actions of the Crown, the damages that we are facing in this instance wouldn’t exist as they exist because the complainants would have been dealt with a lot earlier,” Mr. Gibson said.

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Priest faces 11 sex charges

The Ottawa Citizen

26 March 1997

A Roman Catholic priest who lived in Ottawa in the late 1970s has been charged with sexually abusing four boys in Elk Lake, Ont.

Rev. Albert Desrochers, 79, who now lives in Montreal, is to appear in court on April 25 to face 11 charges: four counts of indecent assault, four counts of gross indecency and three counts of buggery.

The complainants were between six and 10 at the time of the alleged assaults, said to have occurred between 1976 and 1978, when Father Desrochers was a priest at Nativity Parish. The OPP says he moved to Ottawa in 1978, though police were unable to say how long he lived here.

Sgt. Dan Dawson said yesterday four young men, who no longer live in Elk Lake, approached the police about a month ago with their allegations.

6 Responses to Desrochers: Father Albert Desrochers osm

  1. Mike Fitzgerald says:

    The whole system should hang it’s head in shame! What about these boys (now men) who have to live with this for the rest of their lives?
    While these boys(men) who have to live with their torment and shame for the rest of their natural lives because of a paedophile criminal, try to live out normal lives, this “priest of God” denies all involvement and wants us, the taxpayer, to foot his bill!!!!
    Where’s the bishop? Hiding in the closet as well!!!!

    These are the people who the church has entrusted to lead us in our spiritual lives?

    God help us all!!! I hope the church is really proud of these upstanding “men of God”.
    Mike.

  2. Ginette Benoit Paquette says:

    I was married to the eldest brother for 14 years. Let me tell you this entire family continues to struggle. It doesn’t end when the media stops writing about it. The troubles my ex- husband continues to deal with has now spilled over to my children. The damage done to him, affects my children. The issues he continues to deal with because of the trauma he suffered, have caused him to make numerous detrimental decisions affecting me and our children? My daughter is currently undergoing testing for mental health issues , which I believe derive from the trauma my ex suffered. It began a series of events that ultimately ended our marriage. This dumba** priest has no had no idea what he had done. This really messed him and his brothers up…..and each of them have somewhat strained relationships with each of their children. Now two of them are grandfathers and I can’t help but wonder if some of the effect will reach the grandchildren? Personally, I no longer go to church, and struggle with the question of the existence of god. I struggle everyday with my daughters mental health. But I know for a fact that all this happened for a reason! I just haven’t figured it out yet.

  3. Jennifer Savoie says:

    I lost my best friend in school as he had to move to a new foster home due to the bullying he endured. It was literally JUST TODAY that I pieced things together and concluded the crux of their struggles that my friend and his siblings really endured.

    I’m effin sick to my stomach that they lived through this…being judged, ridiculed, traumatized, belittled, defamed, punished, bullied, teased, made a mockery of. But most of all, having to face each and every day never knowing exactly what will become of it. Will they stay or will they go…will they be together or be separated…will they go to school or switch up…AGAIN…who will be their friends? Who can they trust! Who will be there for them?

    I can’t even imagine the turmoil of the mind and wandering headspace that these brave young men had to endure just to find their way.

    The Vatican should be setting them up comfortably for life. So they never have to worry financiallyever again. Their focus can be on healing, developing a sense of family bonding, learning the essence of a humane moral compass and values to pass onto their children. Rather than live in a world of hate, insecurities, wrongful bias, bullying, discrimination, unworthiness, self loathing and the constant feeling on insignificance and importance. AND TO NEVER LIVE IN FEAR!

    Loving is beautiful…being loved is even better. How can one’s heart be open and vulnerable without fear? Who knows….proper love and patience from people who really matter will be the justification to happiness….not because of a shitty childhood, but rather, in spite of it.

    I love my friend who has their struggles…but he knows I will hold his hand and walk WITH him through his journey and always be supportive by his side. Just like a good friend deserves. I love you D. Very much.

  4. David Wallace says:

    I feel certain that Albert Desrochers is the same priest who sexually abused me in 1967 while he was the Chaplain, Belmont Park, Galiano Crescent, Victoria, British Columbia. I was a 10 year old boy. I delivered the TV Guide to him every week.

    I was struck by this description: “Many nights, I woke up. Many nights, I remember him laying on top of me,” Kerry Paquette testified. “Many nights, his fat face is sitting right here with his little whiskers and his gray stubble and his breathing right in my face, many times.”

    I cannot clearly recognize my abuser from the photo above. But the timeline fits. I remember he spoke with a French accent. I remember he used snuff which he kept in a little box.

  5. A victim says:

    Albert Desrochers was priest at St Pat’s in Maniwaki from 1970 to 1974 and not 73-74.

  6. Sylvia says:

    Thank you AV. I can only include dates and places for which I have information, hence the many gaps. I have made note of your comment in the timeline.

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