Lachance: Father Paul-Henri Lachance

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Paul Henri Lachance (Father Paul-Henri Lachance)

Priest Archdiocese of Quebec, Quebec.  Ordained 1956.  Convicted in 2009 – sentenced to 18 months in jail.

Shirley Christensen. Sexually abused by Father Paul-Henri Lachance when she was between ages six and eight.  Picture taken by her father in May or June 1981

Shirley Christensen. Sexually abused by Father Paul-Henri Lachance when she was between ages six and eight. Picture taken by her father in May or June 1981


The  following few dates and locations are those found in the Canadian Catholic Directory of that date.

2010:  not listed

Lachance’s victim is trying to sue.  The province of Quebec is unique in Canada in that it has a statute of limitations on civil actions.  When the suit was initially filed  the Archbishop of Quebec filed for dismissal.  The case was dismissed.   On 29 October 2010 the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that she can proceed.

2009:  Tried.  Convicted.  18 month sentence

2002, 2000, 1999, 1997:466, rte Prevost, St.-Laurnet-d’Orleans, Quebec

1996, 1995, 1991, 1985-1986,   Pastor, Notre Dame-du-Siant-Rosaire, Beaupre, Quebec

late 70’s: sexually abused  6-year-old Shirley Christensen for two years.

1973-74, 1971-1972 :  address for St. Pascal, Quebec, Quebec (Pastor Father Leandre Blondeau)

1967, 1968-69:address for St. Jean-Baptiste, Quebec (Pastor Father Aurele Ouellet)

1959:  assistant at Saint Raphael, Bellechasse, Quebec (Pastor Father Henri-Philippe Audet)


26 November 2010:  Archbishop opts for trial in sex abuse civil case

29 October 2010: Court ruling makes it easier sue clergy in Quebec


SCOC says Quebec woman can sue Catholic Church for sex abuse

 Monteal Gazette
By Mike De Souza, Postmedia News October 29, 2010

(Picture Left: Christensen was abused by Roman Catholic priest Paul-Henri Lachance between the ages of six and eight. Photograph by: Shirley Christensen, Photo Handout)

OTTAWA — A Quebec woman who was sexually abused as a child at the hands of a priest will be allowed to launch a lawsuit against the Catholic Church, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Friday.

Shirley Christensen was abused as a child in a Quebec City parish in the late 1970s but the assaults were only reported in 2006 and they resulted in a conviction.

Christensen has tried twice to launch lawsuits but was denied by Quebec courts which said she had waited too long because of time limits on when someone can sue for damages in a civil case.

Her lawyer had argued that the previous decisions by the courts were not consistent with decisions in the rest of Canada.

Christensen alleged that during the summer of 2006, she started to recall some memories of the abuse and resulting trauma. She argued that she had previously been incapable of acting or launching proceedings against the church which had asked her family in the 1970s not to go to police and had moved the priest to a different parish.

Rev. Paul-Henri Lachance pleaded guilty to the sexual assault charges in 2009 and was sentenced to 18 months in jail.


SCC rules in sex-abuse suit against priest, archbishop

CTV News

29 October 2010

Slideshow image

The Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010. (Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The Canadian Press

Date: Fri. Oct. 29 2010 10:49 AM ET

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada has resurrected a Quebec woman’s sex-abuse lawsuit against a Roman Catholic priest and the province’s archbishop.

The justices have ruled 7-0 that Shirley Christensen’s case should go back for trial.

She says she was abused by Paul-Henri Lachance in Quebec City in the late 1970s, but only realized in 2006 that the abuse was linked to her psychological problems.

She filed her $250,000 suit in 2007, but the archbishop moved for dismissal, saying it came too late.

Quebec Superior Court and the Court of Appeal agreed, saying that since her parents knew of the abuse at the time and failed to act within the three-year window allowed for such suits under Quebec’s civil code, her right to sue had evaporated.

Her parents complained to the archbishop at the time and were told that the matter would be dealt with privately.

The prelate urged them not to go to the police or sue and they complied.

Christensen argued that the limitation window only opened in 2006, when she made the connection between the abuse and her troubled life.

Before that, she said, it was impossible for her to act and the archbishop’s advice meant her parents couldn’t act, which effectively suspended the limitation period.

While the majority on the court of appeal rejected her position, Justice Jacques Chamberland dissented.

He said the question of when the statute of limitations kicked in was a matter for a trial, not simply a motion for dismissal. He said a trial judge should decide the matter only after hearing evidence.

The high court agreed, saying the question of when the clock started ticking on the limitation period couldn’t be decided simply on the record.

“The trial judge will have to assess the evidence to determine whether, on the facts, inferences can be drawn that establish either that prescription did not start to run until 2006 or, possibly, that it was suspended in the circumstances of this case,” the court said.

The window for filing such suits varies from province to province, although Quebec’s three years is the shortest.

In a 1990 case dealing with incest, the Supreme Court ruled that the limitation clock only started running when the victim recognized a connection between the abuse and psychological troubles.

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