Kenny: Douglas

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Douglas Kenny

former Christian Brother.  Former Superintendent of Mount Cashel orphanage in St. John’s Newfoundland. 1992 CONVICTED for sex abuse of seven boys.  On appeal of five year sentence sentenced to 7 years in jail. Married a former Presentation Sister.

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R v Kenny 1996 Supreme Court of Newfoundland (appeal of conviction denied)

1991:  R v Kenny 1991 (application for stay of proceedings dismissed)

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The following information is drawn fro media (M),  R v Kenny 1991 (kenny91) and R v Kenny 1996 (kenny96)

March 1997:  Supreme Court will not review conviction (M)

conviction appealed to Supreme Court of Canada (M)

13 May 1992: conviction and sentence appealed (kenny96)  sentence increased to seven years and conviction upheld (kenny96)

14 April 1992: sentenced to five years in prison (kenny96)

31 March 1992: convicted by judge alone on seven counts of indecent assault (kenny96)

Convicted on six counts of indecent assault and one of assault on seven boys during his years at Mount Cashel.  Sentenced to a maximum of five years.  The Crown asked for 15 years.  Justice Leo Barry said Kenny’s crimes were less than those committed by some of the other brothers. (M)  Six other charges were dismissed and one was stayed (M)

1991:  attempted to have charges stayed on appeal. Appeal dismissed

14 April 1989: charged -this was the first of the sex abuse charges laid against the Christin Brothers (kenny91) initially there were 10 complainants and 14 charges.  Six charges were dismissed (kenny96)

31 March 1989: judicial inquiry to be conducted in to how authorities dealt with allegations of sex abuse of boys at Mount Cashel.  Announcement also made that the Associate Deputy Attorney General and the Director of Public Prosecutions would decide,
with the police, whether criminal charges would be laid. (kenny91)

1989: Associate Deputy Attorney General asked the Chief of Police to reopen and complete the original investigation and determine if there had been an attempt to obstruct the course of justice in 1975-1976 (kenny91)

married.  Teacher.  Living in Maple, Ontario (M)

at some point married a former Presentation Sister (P)

1983:  left the Christian Brothers

April 1976: “the Department of Justice through the Deputy minister of Justice for Newfoundland, had made a general decision that no charges would be laid against any of the Christian Brothers at Mount Cashel” and police were instructed that no charges would be laid. (Kenny91)

after leaving Mount Cashel spent six months at a “spiritual renewal” program in Rome and was then re-assigned to work at Vancouver College in British Columbia (kenny96 and M)

early 1976: another meeting held between Deputy Minister of Justice and a representative of the Christian Brothers.  According to court documents “The representative received what he took to be a directive that the Congregation ensure that certain Christian Brothers, including Brother Kenny, not be permitted to return to Mount Cashel.” (Kenny91)

1971-1976: Superintendent of Mount Cashel Orphanage, St. John’s Newfoundland

18 December 1975: Senior members of the Christian Brothers were informed by the Deputy minister of Justice that the police investigation had been terminated (kenny91)

1975: police investigation started into allegations of sex abuse at Mount Cashel but was quickly halted by the Deputy Minister of Justice.  The police investigation was not completed because, according to court documents “the investigating officers were initially instructed by the Chief of Police or the Assistant Chief not to conduct any further interviews and to ‘slow down’ the investigation.'” Byt the time everything came to a grinding halt seven Kenny victims had been interviewed by police and five gave written statements.  Kenny was was not charged until 1989 (kenny91)

 1960:  joined the Christian Brothers (kenny96)

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Mount Cashel conviction stands

The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

07 March 1997

OTTAWA (CP) — The Supreme Court of Canada will not review the sexual abuse conviction of Douglas Kenny, former director of Newfoundland’s Mount Cashel orphanage.

Kenny was convicted in 1992 of seven counts of indecent assault against young boys in incidents dating from the early 1970s.

He was sentenced to three years, but the provincial appeal court boosted that to five years after upholding the conviction.

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Head of Mt. Cashel gets five-year term; Victims outraged at length of sentence

the Edmonton Journal

The Canadian Press

15 April 1992

St. John’s Nfld.

Douglas Kenny, who ran the notorious Mount Cashel orphanage in the 1970s, was sent to prison Tuesday for a maximum of five years.

Kenny, superintendent from 1971 to 1976, stood stone-faced as he was sentenced on seven convictions of indecent assault. He was the last of nine men to go to prison for sex crimes and physical abuse of boys in the orphanage scandal.

“Kenny’s self-indulgent search for sexual gratification has left the wreckage of seven lives in his wake,” said Justice Leo Barry of Newfoundland Supreme Court.

“He preyed in a calculated manner, with utter disregard for their psychological well-being, upon the bodies of young, often-orphan boys who were completely within his control when he was supposed to be looking after their welfare. If anything is the epitome of evil, it is this.”

Kenny becomes eligible to apply for day parole after serving 10 months and for full parole after 20 months.

Barry, addressing a stuffy courtroom packed with victims and their families, said Kenny contributed to a coverup of horrific crimes by misleading a 1975 police investigation and warning residents not to name him in their statements.

But Barry said there’s no evidence the tall, balding man was part of a deal struck with justice officials to spirit two Christian Brothers out of the province before they could be charged.

The scandal involving the Roman Catholic lay order didn’t erupt until 1989 when a former resident went public and police reopened their investigation.

Outside the courtroom, several victims who cannot be identified because of a court order were angry about the sentence, especially since Kenny was in a position to stop the abuse and did nothing.

“Hang the bastard,” hissed one man. “Five years – it should have been (longer considering) the position he was in.”

Kenny’s victims told the court they suffered a range of problems after their tortured childhoods, including suicide attempts, years of therapy, alcohol problems and trouble trusting others.

Kenny, 51, a married teacher who was living in Maple, Ont., is the last of eight current or former brothers and one neighbor of the orphanage to be sentenced for crimes committed in the 1970s. The Crown asked that Kenny be sentenced to a term of up to 15 years, but Barry said his crimes were less severe than those committed by some others.

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Last Cashel sex abuser gets five-year sentence

The Montreeal Gazette

15 April 1993

Beth Gorman

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. – Douglas Kenny, who ran the notorious Mount Cashel orphanage in the 1970s, was sent to prison yesterday for a maximum of five years.

Kenny, superintendent from 1971 to 1976, stood stone-faced as he was sentenced on seven convictions of indecent assault. He was the last of nine men to go to prison for sex crimes and physical abuse of boys at the orphanage.

“Kenny’s self-indulgent search for sexual gratification has left the wreckage of seven lives in his wake,” said Justice Leo Barry of Newfoundland Supreme Court.

“He preyed in a calculated manner, with utter disregard for their psychological well-being, upon the bodies of young, often-orphan boys who were completely within his control when he was supposed to be looking after their welfare. If anything is the epitome of evil, it is this.”

Kenny becomes eligible to apply for day parole after serving 10 months and for full parole after 20 months.

Barry, addressing a stuffy courtroom packed with victims and their families, said Kenny contributed to a coverup of horrific crimes by misleading a 1975 police investigation and warning residents not to name him in their statements.

Outside the courtroom, several victims were angry about the sentence, especially since Kenny was in a position to stop the abuse and did nothing.

“Hang the bastard,” hissed one man.

Kenny’s victims told the court they suffered a range of problems after their tortured childhoods, including suicide attempts, years of therapy, alcohol problems and trouble trusting others.

Kenny, 51, a married teacher who was living in Maple, Ont., is the last of eight current or former brothers and one neighbor of the orphanage to be sentenced for crimes committed in the 1970s. They’re serving prison terms ranging from one to 13 years.

The Crown asked that Kenny be sentenced to a term of up to 15 years, but Barry said his crimes – which included kissing and fondling boys – were less severe than those committed by some others who forced boys to masturbate them and have oral and anal sex.

Kenny, who has steadfastly maintained his innocence, was actually handed seven sentences totalling 14 years. Because they will run concurrently, he will serve a maximum of five years, the longest sentence.

Defence lawyer Derek Green is expected to appeal.

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The Toronto Star

15 April 1992

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. (CP) – Douglas Kenny, who ran the notorious Mount Cashel orphanage in the 1970s, has been sent to prison for a maximum of five years.

Kenny, superintendent of the orphanage from 1971 to 1976, stood stone-faced yesterday as he was sentenced on seven convictions of indecent assault.

He was the last of nine men jailed for sex crimes and physical abuse of boys in the orphanage scandal.

“Kenny’s self-indulgent search for sexual gratification has left the wreckage of seven lives in his wake,” said Justice Leo Barry of Newfoundland Supreme Court.

“He preyed in a calculated manner, with utter disregard for their psychological well-being, upon the bodies of young, often orphan boys who were completely within his control when he was supposed to be looking after their welfare. If anything is the epitome of evil, it is this.”

Kenny becomes eligible to apply for day parole after serving 10 months and for full parole after 20 months.

Barry, addressing a stuffy courtroom packed with victims and their families, said Kenny contributed to a cover-up of horrific crimes by misleading a 1975 police investigation and warning residents not to name him in their statements.

But Barry said there’s no evidence the tall, balding man was part of a deal struck with justice officials to spirit two Christian Brothers out of the province before they could be charged.

The scandal involving the Roman Catholic lay order didn’t erupt until 1989 when a former resident went public and police reopened their investigation.

Outside the courtroom, several victims who cannot be identified because of a court order were angry about the sentence, especially since Kenny was in a position to stop the abuse and did nothing.

“Hang the bastard,” hissed one man. “Five years – it should have been (longer considering) the position he was in.”

Kenny’s victims told the court they suffered a range of problems after their tortured childhoods, including suicide attempts, years of therapy, alcohol problems and trouble trusting others.

Kenny, 51, a married teacher who was living in Maple, Ont., is the last of eight current or former brothers and one neighbor of the orphanage to be sentenced for crimes committed in the 1970s. They’re serving prison terms ranging from one to 13 years.

The crown asked that Kenny be sentenced to a term of up to 15 years, but Barry said his crimes – which included kissing and fondling boys – were less severe than those committed by some others who forced boys to masturbate them to ejaculation and to have oral and anal sex.

Kenny, who has steadfastly maintained his innocence, was actually handed seven sentences totalling 14 years. Because they will run concurrently, he will serve a maximum of five years, the longest sentence.

He was originally charged with 14 counts of sexual and physical abuse but was acquitted on six charges last month and proceedings on a seventh were stayed. The maximum sentence for an indecent assault charge is 10 years.

Defence lawyer Derek Green is expected to appeal the verdict.

Barry, who said pre-trial publicity made it more costly for Kenny to prepare his case, will consider arguments April 23 for recovery of some legal fees and damages.

Kenny’s sentence closes one chapter of the scandal and clears the way for release of a public inquiry report on abuse in the 1970s. But police now are investigating complaints dating back to late 1940s and ’50s.

The orphanage in east-end St. John’s, established in 1898, was closed two years ago. The church has ordered it demolished and the land sold to pay for programs for victims.

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Mount Cashel official gets five years

The Ottawa Citizen

14 April 1992

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. (CP) — Douglas Kenny, the last of nine men charged with sex crimes at Mount Cashel orphanage, was ordered today to serve five years in prison.

Kenny, former superintendent of the St. John’s home run by Christian brothers, was convicted March 31 on seven counts of indecent assault against seven boys in the 1970s.

”Kenny’s self-indulgent search for sexual gratification has left the wreckage of seven lives in his wake,” said Justice Leo Barry of Newfoundland Supreme Court.

”If anything is the epitome of evil, it is this. Public abhorrence must be great.”

Kenny was handed five sentences, totalling 14 years. Because they will run concurrently, he will serve the longest sentence, five years.

Eight other current or former members of the Catholic lay order and one neighbor of the orphanage have already been sentenced to prison terms ranging from six months to 13 years.

The Crown asked that Kenny, 51, be sentenced to a term of up to 15 years, but defence lawyers argued his crimes — which included kissing and fondling the boys — were less severe than those committed by other men.

The orphanage in east-end St. John’s was closed two years ago. It will be demolished and the land sold to fund programs for victims.

Mount Cashel is part of a larger scandal that has rocked Newfoundland’s Catholic community. Several priests in various communities have also been convicted of abuse.

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Calm demeanor hides anguish, says abuser

The Windsor Star

09 April 1992

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. (CP) – Douglas Kenny, convicted of sexual and physical abuse of Mount Cashel boys, took exception Wednesday to comments the trial judge made about his demeanor in court.

The former superintendent of the orphanage told Justice Leo Barry it disturbed him to read in the judge’s 184-page decision last week that “I never conveyed a sense of outrage one would expect” upon hearing the accusations against him.

Barry made the comment as he convicted Kenny, a former Christian Brother, on seven of 14 charges of sexual and physical abuse of Mount Cashel residents. He was acquitted on six charges and a decision was not reached on one.

IN AN UNUSUAL move, Kenny asked to make a brief statement after final submissions in a four-day pre-sentence hearing ended Wednesday in Newfoundland Supreme Court. He will be sentenced Tuesday.

Referring to Barry’s comments, Kenny said his nature, upbringing and training taught him to control his feelings.

“This is the me before you,” he told the judge. “I’m trying to deal with this horrendous situation calmly.

“It’s been very difficult for me to sit here day after day and maintain control.”

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Former head of Mount Cashel guilty of seven abuse charges

The Edmonton Journal

01 April 1992

Southam News

Elaine Flaherty

St. John’s, Nfld.

Another chapter on the long and tragic story of sexual abuse at the Mount Cashel orphanage closed Tuesday as the institution’s former head was found guilty of seven of 14 charges of physical and sexual abuse.

Douglas Kenny, 50, the Christian Brother who headed the orphanage from 1971-76, was the last of eight lay brothers charged to be convicted. His lawyer, Derek Green, indicated Tuesday that Kenny intends to appeal the decision, as have several of the others charged in connection with complaints of abuse at the orphanage close to 20 years ago.

The other seven have been sentenced to terms ranging from one to 12 years. A sentencing hearing for Kenny begins Friday.

Newfoundland Supreme Court Justice Leo Barry found Kenny guilty of six counts of indecent assault and one of assault. Six of the other charges were dismissed and one stayed.

Kenny, a St. John’s native now living in Maple, Ont., showed no emotion at the verdict. But there were some tears from those who packed the courtroom, including members of Kenny’s family and former orphanage residents and their families.

Ten former residents complained of abuse by Kenny and the convictions relate to incidents involving seven.

During the six-month trial, witnesses testified that Kenny had kissed and fondled them. One described Kenny as a man who “lacked all the essential qualities of a human being.”

“(He) had no understanding, no compassion or forgiveness.”

Testifying in his own defence, Kenny denied all the allegations, at one point saying the complainants were “sick” and “out to lunch.”

The wrap-up to the criminal trials comes almost three years after the now-defunct Sunday Express newspaper here first published a riveting account by a Mount Cashel resident detailing sexual abuse at the hands of the orphanage’s lay brothers during the early ’70s.

The allegations – combined with charges of sexual assault against a number of priests – sparked a controversy and shook the strong grip the Catholic church held on Newfoundland.

A royal commission, headed by retired Ontario Supreme Court justice Samuel Hughes, began investigating the Mount Cashel allegations two years ago. While hearings wrapped up more than a year ago, the completed report has been delayed until the criminal cases were complete.

The report is expected to be released sometime in the next month or two. It is now being reviewed to ensure it won’t jeopardize an investigation into allegations of abuse at the orphanage dating back to the 1940s and ’50s.

The end of the criminal trials is also expected to result in stepped-up efforts by a number of former orphanage residents to be compensated for their suffering.

Jack Harris, a lawyer whose firm represents about 30 of the former residents, says some will seek compensation through the province’s crimes compensation board while others will initiate civil suits against the Christian Brothers and the province.

Residents of the orphanage, which is now closed, were wards of the province.

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Ex-Brother challenges his accusers

The Vancouver Sun

14 February 1992

ST. JOHN’S – The former head of a Roman Catholic orphanage took the offensive at his sex-abuse trial, dismissing testimony from his 10 accusers as nonsense.

“There’s no rhyme nor reason to any of it,” former Christian Brother Douglas Kenny said on his third day of testifying in his own defence. “It amazes me.”

Kenny, superintendent of Mount Cashel orphanage in the 1970s, faces nine counts of indecent assault, three of gross indecency and two of assault causing bodily harm.

The 50-year-old man remained calm during his first two days on the stand, but on the third day his voice rose as he challenged his accusers’ evidence.

He became particularly upset when his lawyer asked him to comment on graphic descriptions of sexual abuse the court had heard.

“I’ve been sitting in this court for the last five months and I’ve listened to descriptions like this and have not been given definite times,” said Kenny, his voice rising. “It boggles the mind and imagination for an 11-year-old to spiel out all of that. It sounds like he is reading from a porno magazine.

“It turns my stomach. I didn’t do any of that to that young fellow.”

In response to another allegation, Kenny replied: “I wasn’t into necking with the kids.

“When I gave a kid a hug it was out of concern for the kids . . . love for the kids.”

Lawyer Derek Green also asked about an incident in which a witness said Kenny made him go into a room, put on a pair of purple briefs and then sexually assaulted him in the hallway.

“I’m suppose to sexually abuse him in the hallway in full view of every Tom, Dick and Harry that may come along,” said Kenny. “I got to stand here and listen to this garbage. If I wanted to abuse him, why didn’t I go into the room?”

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Mt. Cashel headmaster denies fondling charges

The Vancouver Sun

12 February 1992

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. – The former superintendent of a Roman Catholic orphanage took the witness stand in his own defence, denying allegations he sexually and physically abused boys under his charge.

For two months now, Douglas Kenny, 50, has heard a litany of evidence from 10 former residents of Mount Cashel. He faces nine counts of indecent assault, three of gross indecency and two of assault causing bodily harm.

Kenny, head of the boys’ home from August 1971 until January 1976, said he felt unprepared to accept his assignment to head the institution in St. John’s.

“The letter came as a shock,” Kenny said. “I had no background on running an institution like that and no managerial training at the time.”

Kenny said he called the headquarters of the Congregation of Christian Brothers in Mono Mills, Ont., and suggested he shouldn’t go to Mount Cashel. He was encouraged to accept the assignment at a subsequent meeting.

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Mount Cashel orphan afraid to go to sleep; Sex-assault trial told of late-night visits

The Montreal Gazette

03 October 1991

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. – A former Mount Cashel orphanage boy says he was afraid to go to sleep at night until he felt assured superintendent Douglas Kenny wasn’t coming to his bunk to molest him.

The man, now 31 years old and the second complainant in Kenny’s trial, was a teenager at the time.

He told the Newfoundland Supreme Court yesterday that the former Christian Brother often came to his dormitory after the lights were out, sat on his bunk and fondled his private parts.

“I’d be waiting for a long time not knowing what he would do. I’d be afraid of what would happen if I went to sleep.”

Kenny’s mother lived a short distance from the orphanage, he said. The boy could see through the dormitory window when Kenny’s car was in her driveway.

“If his station wagon was there for a long time, I could go to sleep knowing nothing would happen. If it wasn’t there, I knew he would be coming to my bunk.”

Kenny, 50, now living in Maple, Ont., is charged with 14 counts of sexual and physical abuse against 10 orphanage boys between 1971 and 1975. He faces nine counts of indecent assault, three of gross indecency and two of assault causing bodily harm.

The complainant said Kenny sexually assaulted him often and in various parts of the orphanage.

“Why didn’t you say no,” asked crown prosecutor Cathy Knox.

“I was afraid to say no,” replied the complainant.

He became emotional as he described one incident. He said he was cleaning out the pool when Kenny pushed him into the deep end.

The complainant said Kenny wouldn’t let him out until he went to the bottom of the pool and took one piece of clothing off at a time.

“When he let me out of the pool, I asked him why,” said the complainant. “He told me it was to teach me how to survive if I ever fell out of a boat.”

His testimony continues today. Eight more complainants are expected to testify.

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Six charged with molesting boys moved to Lower Mainland schools; Six charged brothers sent to B.C. schools

The Vancouver Sun

06 December 1990

Douglas Todd

SIX CHRISTIAN Brothers charged with molesting boys at Mount Cashel orphanage in Newfoundland were sent to work with boys at two prominent Greater Vancouver Catholic schools.

Parents of students at St. Thomas More Collegiate in Burnaby and Vancouver College in Shaughnessy have a right to be upset that the schools took on teachers linked to the Mt. Cashel sex scandal, says Michael Harris, author of a new book called Unholy Orders: Tragedy At Mount Cashel.

St. Thomas More, perhaps unknowingly in some cases, gave teaching jobs to four Christian Brothers who had been accused of sexual assault at Mount Cashel, according to Unholy Orders and a Vancouver Sun search.

Some brothers came to Vancouver after the Christian Brothers made a secret 1976 “deal” with Newfoundland justice officials, says Unholy Orders. A damning police report about molesting at Mount Cashel was suppressed, says the book, in exchange for the Catholic order moving the accused brothers far away from Newfoundland.

“That whole process of (transferring brothers to B.C.) worked nicely because it was such a long way from the hot spot,” said Harris, a veteran investigative journalist who is now an executive director at the Newfoundland Broadcasting Corp.

Brothers Edward English and Kevin Short were sent to St. Thomas More Collegiate. Short later became principal of the 640-boy high school.

St. Thomas More also hired Brother David Burton – who was convicted in 1982 of having oral and anal sex with a Mount Cashel boy in a case that church officials strove to keep out of the public eye. The Burnaby school also took on Brother Edward French, who was charged with sexual assault in connection with incidents at Mount Cashel years after the 1976 deal.

Vancouver College was sent two brothers – ex-Mount Cashel superintendent Douglas Kenny and Joseph Burke – who are the subject of lurid allegations of physical abuse and sexual molestation at the Newfoundland orphanage. Burke became vice-principal of Vancouver College, which includes boys from Grades 1 to 12.

None of the brothers teach any longer at St. Thomas More or Vancouver College, which are run by the Christian Brothers order. Burke, Short and Burton lost their positions last year after the Mount Cashel scandal broke.

Neither St. Thomas More Collegiate principal Brother Hugh O’Neil, nor Vancouver College principal Brother Ken Farrell was available for comment.

This week in Vancouver, Harris wondered if further publicity about abuse at Mount Cashel will bring forth victims who have remained quiet. Parents who sent children to St. Thomas More or Vancouver College, he said, might receive “some surprising and disturbing answers” if they asked their children if they were ever sexually abused at the school.

Given victims’ general reluctance to admit they’ve been abused, Harris said, the frightening thing is that parents “can’t necessarily take any comfort in having their child tell them that nothing happened.”

The Christian Brothers order acted “indefensibly” by transferring brothers from Newfoundland who were the subject of criminal investigations, Harris said.

“They showed a brutal indifference to the victims and acted as if their members were above the law.

“The transfers show a strong sense of strategy for an institution that’s supposed to represent the highest ideals of humanity. It’s not as if these people are used-car salesmen.”

Unholy Orders quotes numerous documents describing the transfer of the accused molesters to Vancouver Catholic schools, including several letters from Gabriel McHugh, the head of the Christian Brothers order in Canada until 1978, and now a leader of the worldwide order.

Despite a detective’s report that five boys had made sexual-assault allegations against Kenny, Unholy Orders says McHugh wrote a letter in 1976 in which he said he hoped Kenny would “be able to assist with the boarders” at Vancouver College.

McHugh told Kenny: “I feel sure, also, that you will be happy to know that no accusations have been levelled against you whatsoever. . . . I feel sure that for awhile you will not want too many reminders of the painful experience. . . . Vancouver will take care of that.”

In transferring English to St. Thomas More, the book says McHugh “lied” to the Burnaby school’s then-principal.

Although the book says English was a pedophile under psychiatric care, McHugh told St. Thomas More that English “will prove to be a flexible and dynamic personality. . . . He became involved in the Mount Cashel situation because of his overemphasis on corporal punishment. This has been rectified and will not be a difficulty.”

Unholy Orders says McHugh knew that English hadn’t been ordered out of Newfoundland because of corporal punishment. McHugh showed “surprising” judgment, the book says, by placing English in charge of young boys at St. Thomas More despite the brother being only halfway through a six-month psychiatric program to deal with his sexual problems.

This week, in Newfoundland, English pleaded not guilty to sex-abuse charges and will stand trial in the summer of 1991.

Short, French and Burke will enter their pleas in January. Rooney’s trial begins April 15. Kenny has not yet undergone a preliminary hearing.

Newfoundland Justice Minister Paul Dicks is now considering whether obstruction of justice charges should be laid against police, government officials and others involved in the Mount Cashel scandal, which has been the subject of a royal commission.

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Sex abuse probe left to head of orphanage

The Toronto Star

17 February 1990

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. (CP) – A former Newfoundland director of child welfare says he left a 1975 investigation of alleged sexual abuse at a Roman Catholic orphanage to the man who ran the institution.

And the superintendent of the Mount Cashel orphanage, Douglas Kenny, said the charges were groundless, but was himself accused just weeks later of being an abuser.

Kenny, a former member of the Christian Brothers order that still runs the orphanage, was charged last year with four counts of indecent assault and two counts of gross indecency.

The former child welfare official, Frank Simms, testified yesterday at an inquiry into how sex abuse cases at the orphanage were handled.

Simms was grilled about his response to a social worker’s 1975 report detailing charges that a Christian Brother sexually and physically abused two boys, Billy Earle and Dereck O’Brien.

Inquiry lawyer David Day jumped on Simms’ revelation that he had simply asked Kenny what was going on.

“Did it occur to you to send somebody to Cashel to remove Billy Earle or ask the superintendent to have the (suspected) Brother take a spell from the orphanage?” Day asked.

Simms said he didn’t take such action because it was the first time he’d heard a complaint about Mount Cashel.

“There’s no doubt that if I had to handle that report 10 years later, it would have been done differently,” he said. “Today, that is not acceptable.”

Day pressed on, asking Simms if he ever got a report from Kenny. Simms said he had an informal, general talk with Kenny at the orphanage.

“He (Kenny) gave me the impression the allegations were unfounded and nothing more than the boys being disciplined,” said Simms.

“You didn’t ask to speak to the boys?” asked Day.

“No,” replied Simms.

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Brother averse to officers on Cashel premises, probe told

The Vancouver Sun

01 November 1989

ST. JOHN’S – When Brother Douglas Kenny became administrator, the Mount Cashel orphanage suddenly stopped wanting provincial child-welfare officers on its premises, a series of old letters read at a sexual-abuse inquiry disclosed today.

The letters began with former Mount Cashel superintendent Brother John Barron asking that the government assign a child-welfare officer to the orphanage to observe problem boys.

A juvenile probation officer was assigned to the orphanage, but when Kenny succeeded Barron in 1972, a series of departmental letters revealed that he did not want a child-welfare officer on the premises.

“It would appear there has been a complete change in the outlook of the present administrator at Mount Cashel from his predecessor,” says a February letter from Ferdinand Davis, regional welfare director at the time.

Kenny and seven other members or former members of the Christian Brothers, the celibate teaching order that runs Mount Cashel, have been charged with various abuse charges but have not yet gone to preliminary hearings.

The judicial inquiry, headed by retired Ontario judge Samuel Hughes, is looking into whether authorities covered up complaints of sexual and physical abuse at the Roman Catholic orphanage in the early 1970s.

The inquiry was told that Kenny wanted the provincial child-welfare officer to limit himself to financial matters and drawing up case histories of the boys.

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Brother ‘choked me,’ former orphan tells Mount Cashel inquiry

The Ottawa Citizen

30 October 1989

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. (CP)–Tales of the temper of Brother Douglas Kenny, superintendent of the Mount Cashel orphanage in the early 1970s, were told at the Hughes inquiry today.

Leo Gerrard Rice — who happens to be a distant relative of the founder of the Christian Brothers teaching order, Brother Ignatius Rice — testified that Kenny once almost choked him for saying it was too cold to go door-to-door selling tickets to orphanage activities.

The judicial inquiry, headed by retired Ontario judge Samuel Hughes, is trying to determine whether there was a coverup of abuse at Mount Cashel after several boys, including Rice, complained to police in December 1975.

Eight Christian Brothers or former brothers who were at the orphanage in 1975 have been charged with physically or sexually abusing boys in their care.

Rice, a tall 31-year-old with a neatly trimmed black beard, now lives in Tulsa, Okla.

He said he had stopped selling tickets one cold day, telling the brothers that it was too cold at that time to go out.

He said Kenny approached him and accused him of refusing to sell the tickets at all. He said Kenny put him up against the wall and put his hand on his throat, leaving marks.

The next day, he said, he had dinner at his aunt’s home and she noticed the marks on his neck.

“My aunt was going to kill him,” he said.

After that, Kenny gave him no more trouble and the brother was transferred out soon afterwards.

Rice also said that Brother Edward English sexually abused him at the orphanage. Life was fine at Mount Cashel, he said, until English came in 1973 and began molesting him.

Rice said he told police of English’s sexual abuse when two officers talked to him in 1975 but did not tell them of the choking episode or any other physical abuse.

Police asked only about the sexual abuse, he said, adding that he was not sure whether the choking took place after the police statement.

Rice said he never told his relatives about the sexual abuse.

“If I had told one of my aunts or uncles they would have been doing life without parole right now. They would have killed the son-of-a-bitches.”

Brian Patrick Leonard testified that he lost a scholarship and a chance to be trained as a helicopter pilot when Kenny suddenly ejected him and all the other senior boys from a dormitory. The brother, he said, became convinced they had supplied drugs to the younger boys.

The bushy-bearded resident of the Lake Simcoe area of Ontario said Kenny called him and the other boys to his office. He told them “he was going to give us 25 cents, a sandwich and send us out on the yellow line”– meaning the middle of the street, he said.

“He did kick us out a week later. He never gave us the quarter or the sandwich.”

The drug charges were a lie, he said, but “he just makes up his mind and does what he wants.”

Kenny had written letters obtaining the scholarship, but after that incident the scholarship went up in smoke, Leonard said.

Leonard found a room in a rooming house and finished his Grade 11, then trained as an electrician.

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Statement to police about Cashel altered, former resident says

The Toronto Globe and Mail

Tuesday, October 24, 1989

Stephen Ward

ST. JOHN’S — BY STEPHEN WARD Canadian Press ST. JOHN’S Police altered a complaint they received from a boy at the Mount Cashel orphanage 14 years ago by leaving out serious allegations of abuse, an inquiry was told yesterday.

Former resident John Williams made the charge as he re-examined his 1975 police statement for the first time since he gave it to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary , the provincial police force.

Looking puzzled by the one-page statement placed in front of him, Mr. Williams said his original complaint was six pages long.

And the one-page document contained allegations against only one Christian Brother when he had accused three Brothers of physical and sexual abuse, he said.

”That’s all that’s there, but where’s the rest of it?” Mr. Williams, 29, said as he shook his head.

”And there’s things that’s put in there that don’t belong there. . . . They’re trying so desperately to get the Brothers off the hook.” Mr. Williams said he had complained about three members of the Roman Catholic lay order that runs the orphanage – Brother Edward English, Brother Douglas Kenny and Brother Allan Ralph.

These men are among eight brothers and former brothers recently charged with abusing boys in the 1970s.

The judicial inquiry – headed by Samuel Hughes, a former Supreme Court of Ontario judge – is trying to determine if government officials covered up the abuse. In December of 1975, more than 20 boys were interviewed by the police, but no charges were laid.

Mr. Williams – who in 1967 entered the orphanage for 10 years – said his police statement had many omissions.

In particular, he said he told police that he had heard Mr. English tell Mr. Kenny during a heated argument that they were both homosexuals, but that accusation was not in the statement.

”That’s what I mean, it’s a load of garbage,” he said as he waved the statement in the air.

Before seeing his statement, Mr. Williams said he was amused when, during his 1975 interview, police asked him the whereabouts of Mr. Ralph and Mr. English.

”I said, ‘I figured you fellas had him,’ ” he said.

Mr. Williams created a storm of controversy three weeks ago when he testified that he saw Brother John Buckingham of Vancouver commit a gross indecency with a young student in St. John’s in 1975.

Mr. Buckingham – who has never been investigated by police or been the subject of a complaint – denied the charge. Later, lawyers complained that testimony should be limited to avoid such allegations.

On the stand yesterday, Mr. Williams was not asked about the denial. But he did agree with inquiry lawyer David Day that he had never complained to police about Mr. Buckingham.

Meanwhile, the inquiry – which is in its sixth week of testimony – is dealing with the question of how much of the testimony should be made public.

On Monday, lawyers for the CBC and The Globe and Mail considered challenging Mr. Hughes’s decision that the testimony of an unidentified witness not be made public.

Two days of private hearings for the witness, another former resident, ended yesterday morning.

Jack Harris, the man’s lawyer, has pleaded that his client is too emotionally fragile to face television cameras, although he did not object to his testimony being made public.

Gwen Smith, deputy managing editor of The Globe, said lawyers have started working on the issue.

”Yes, we want to intervene in this, and we worry when something is supposed to be a public inquiry and things go in camera,” she said.

Peter Jacobsen, lawyer for the newspaper, said The Globe and the St. John’s Telegram, a Newfoundland daily, may make a joint application to appear before Mr. Hughes to argue their position.

If he turns down the application, the only recourse is an application to the Newfoundland Supreme Court.

Mr. Jacobsen said all media interested in making an application before Mr. Hughes may be scheduled to appear on the same day, perhaps as soon as tomorrow.

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Brother warned orphans not to reveal assaults

The Vancouver Sun

20 October 1989

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. – Christian Brother Douglas Kenny warned boys not to tell police he had assaulted them at the Mount Cashel orphanage, a former resident said Thursday.

Dereck O’Brien told an inquiry that Kenny, then orphanage director, tried to intimidate residents in 1975 when police interviewed them about their complaints.

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Lawyer won’t question Cashel inquiry witness

The Ottawa citizen

19 October 1989

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. (CP) — The cross-examination of Shane Earle never got off the ground today when the lawyer for a former Christian Brother refused to question Earle, saying his client’s reputation has been unfairly damaged.

Derek Green, counsel for Douglas Kenny, said his client felt it was inappropriate to continue regular participation in a judicial inquiry looking into allegations of sexual abuse at a local orphanage.

The inquiry had anxiously awaited the cross-examination of Earle, a former orphanage resident who has made shocking allegations of sexual and physical abuse at the institution over the past two days.

Green said Kenny — director of the orphanage in the mid-1970s — reserved the right to reappear. He said Kenny objected to the fact that the inquiry has allowed witnesses to make serious allegations that he has no way of refuting.

“Allegations like this, once made, whether they are true or not, the damage is done,” said Green, as a blue-suited Earle looked on quietly from the witness chair.

“My client must sit here, as it were, and take it on the chin without being in a position … to try the validity of these allegations.”

Green said the charges threatened his client’s chance of a fair trial and said any allegations should be handled in a court. Kenny is one of eight brothers and former brothers charged with abusing orphanage boys in the 1970s.

Green’s complaint continued a running battle over how much testimony at the inquiry should be made public. The dispute began two weeks ago when a brother was accused by a witness of gross indecency in 1975.

After lawyers argued the issue publicly, inquiry head Samuel Hughes ruled Tuesday — and repeated his position Wednesday — that he has no intention of limiting relevant evidence at the hearings.

Hughes was forced to postpone the cross-examination of Earle after two other lawyers for brothers and the order said they were not ready to proceed.

It is expected that Earle will return to the stand within the next two weeks.

Earle, now 23, charged that brothers abused him for 15 years, beginning when he was six years old in 1973. Earle sparked the inquiry earlier this year when he publicly complained of abuse.

Inquiry counsel Clayton Powell said the commission was aware that Earle would not like to have his testimony stretched out over a long period and he was trying to find a new date for his cross-examination.

Hughes reluctantly excused Earle and called Dereck O’Brien, another former resident, to the stand.

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Teacher ousted over sex charges back at Mount Cashel in 2 years

The Toronto Globe and Mail

28 September 1989

Kevin Cox

ST. JOHN’S –  A Christian Brother was ordered out of the Mount Cashel orphanage after complaints that he was sexually molesting boys in 1970.

But two years later, Brother Allan Ralph was leading a Boy Scout troop and shortly after that, he returned to teach at Mount Cashel when a new superintendent was appointed, former orphanage resident John Williams told a royal commission yesterday.

In his testimony, Mr. Williams described sexual acts some boys had to perform with the Christian Brothers who ran the orphanage. He also said Roman Catholic priest James Hickey once masturbated in front of him.

Mr. Williams said that, in 1970, he and nine other boys complained to then superintendent Brother John Barron that Brother Ralph was abusing them.

He testified that he had seen Brother Ralph in bed with a young boy, and that the man often fondled boys’ genitals when he blessed them after they went to bed.

Mr. Williams said that when the boys complained to Brother Barron, the superintendent did not ask for details, but confronted Brother Ralph in front of the boys and ordered him to leave Mount Cashel.

“Brother Barron said (to Brother Ralph), ‘I hear you are upstairs sexually molesting the boys and physically abusing the boys. Is that true?’ ” Mr. Williams testified.

“Brother Ralph didn’t answer him so he (Brother Barron) said, ‘What are you, some kind of pig? You are going to St. Patrick’s Monastery and I won’t tell the supervisor at St. Pat’s you have been sexually abusing the boys, I’ll just say you’ve been too rough on the boys.’ ” Brother Ralph taught at the St. Patrick’s Hall school in St. John’s for two years and Mr. Williams said he saw the brother leading the school’s Boy Scout troop.

When Douglas Kenny replaced Brother Barron as superintendent, Brother Ralph returned to Mount Cashel, Mr. Williams testified.

He said the boys who complained feared Brother Ralph would make them suffer for complaining in 1970, but the brother was not assigned to their dormitory and the allegations of sexual and physical abuse were not mentioned.

Mr. Williams said that in 1974 and 1975 he had several confrontations with Brother Edward English , whom he accused of sexually abusing young boys at the orphanage.

Mr. Williams said that one night in a study hall he threatened to throw an encyclopedia at Brother English after the brother told a young boy to put his hand inside the brother’s pants.

Later that night, Mr. Williams said, he saw Brother English with his hands inside a boy’s pajama pants after the lights had been turned off in the dormitory.

The next day, Mr. Williams said, he confronted Brother English. “I told (him) that if I ever caught him again with another boy, from now on, that I was going to literally do away with him.”

He said Brother English complained to Mr. Kenny and the superintendent tried to get him transferred to another dormitory in late 1974.

“I told him (Mr. Kenny) Brother English is always coming back crying like a baby to you because I’m interfering with his thrills, his little kinky thrills.”

He also described an incident involving Father James Hickey, who masturbated in front of Mr. Williams and another boy when they were changing their gowns after acting as altar boys at Mount Cashel. Father Hickey was convicted of 20 counts of sexually abusing young boys last January and is serving a five-year sentence in New Brunswick.

In 1975, according to Mr. Williams, Brother Ralph and Brother English left Mount Cashel after a police investigation at the orphanage was completed.

Mr. Williams said he told officers with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1979 that the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary’s investigation was a coverup.

“I told them Brothers English and Ralph were shipped out in 1975, that the CID (Criminal Investigation Division) took our complaints and didn’t act on them. It was more or less a coverup.”

The commission, led by former Supreme Court of Ontario Justice Samuel Hughes, is investigating allegations of abuse at the orphanage and why no charges were laid during the 1975 investigation.

When the investigation was reopened earlier this year, eight brothers and former brothers – including Brother Ralph, Brother English and Mr. Kenny – were charged with abusing boys at the orphanage.

Earlier yesterday, another former Mount Cashel resident, Dereck O’Brien, became too upset to continue his testimony.

Mr. O’Brien had been describing how he and his two brothers were frequently beaten and sent to a dark basement at their first foster home at Mount Pearl, near St. John’s.

He broke down when he tried to describe what he saw when he and his brothers moved to Mount Cashel in 1974.

“I would see grown-ups hit little kids and I knew it was wrong. I had gone through that and I knew it wasn’t right,” he said, sobbing.

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Life at Mount Cashel nightmare of sexual abuse, says student

The Ottawa Citizen

25 September 1989

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. (CP) — A former resident says life at the Mount Cashel orphanage was a nightmare of constant sexual molestation and physical beatings.

Robert Connors, 25, told an inquiry today he was sexually abused by three Christian Brothers in the early 1970s and was beaten by almost all members of the Roman Catholic lay order which ran the home for disadvantaged boys.

Connors testified that the abuse was so bad it forced him and another former resident, Billy Earle, to flee to Earle’s father and complain to the Social Services Department.

Headed by Samuel Hughes, the judicial inquiry is investigating why a 1975 police investigation into complaints of abuse at the orphanage didn’t result in charges being laid.

The articulate Connors is the first former resident to tell the two-week-old inquiry about alleged sexual assaults. Previous witnesses have described their physical beatings or assaults on other boys.

Connors said Brother Allan Ralph molested him in his bed almost every night as the brother made his rounds through his dormitory.

“One night he slipped his hand down the front of my pants and started to fondle me and, at the same time, he was doing it to the gentleman (Billy Earle) next to me,” Connors testified.

Connors said he was forced to perform sexual acts by Brother Douglas Kenny, a former orphanage director, when Connors went to the orphanage’s swimming pool.

Connors said assaults also occurred when he took his daily shower with other boys in the basement of the orphanage. After showering, Brother Edward English would help him dry his genitals, which English called Peter.

“He used to tell me that Peter had to be dried more than other parts of the body,” said the dark-haired forceful Connors.

Connors said he was also abused when he attended the orphanage’s summer camps in the St. John’s area.

Eight brothers and former brothers have recently been charged with sexually assaulting boys at the orphanage in the 1970s — including Kenny, Ralph and and English.

Former residents charge that justice officials decided to not lay charges after church officials moved suspected abusers out of the 90-year-old institution in this city’s east end.

In September of 1975, Connors left the orphanage with Billy Earle who also was allegedly abused. The boys went to the residence of Earle’s father who then took them to the St. John’s district office of the Social Services Department.

Connors said he told a social worker, Robert Bradbury, about the abuse but apparently nothing was done. Bradbury has testified that he didn’t report the complaint because it didn’t seem serious enough.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Paul Dicks has confirmed that his department is continuing its own probe into possible wrongdoing by Newfoundland government officials who handled orphanage complaints in the mid-1970s.

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Preliminary hearing postponed for former Christian Brother

The Toronto Star

28 July 1989

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. (CP) – A former Christian Brother, arrested in Ontario for alleged sex offences against boys, has had his preliminary hearing postponed.

A provincial judge yesterday adjourned to Dec. 6 the hearing for Douglas Kenny, 47, now of Maple, so the Newfoundland Supreme Court can hear his motion to have the charges dropped. He is charged with four counts of indecent assault, two counts of gross indecency and one count of assault causing bodily harm.

The offences are alleged to have occurred between 1971 and 1976, while Kenny was a brother at the local Mount Cashel orphanage. The accused contends that there has been an unreasonable delay in the laying of charges.

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