Court process continues

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The Daily Observer (Pembroke)

16 September 2010


Pre-trial proceedings for a Pembroke priest will continue next month.

A judicial pre-trial for Monsignor Robert Borne began Monday at the provincial court in Pembroke with the case being adjourned until Oct. 7, assistant Crown attorney John Pepper confirmed.

The 61-year-old Roman Catholic priest, is to be tried on two counts each of gross indecency and indecent assault in relation to two alleged male victims. He has elected to be tried by judge alone in superior court. Msgr. Borne is being represented by Ottawa-based lawyer Robert Carew.

The charges stem from incidents alleged to have occurred in 1977 and 1981.

A publication ban has been imposed to protect the identities of the alleged victims.

An investigation was launched by the Renfrew County Crime Unit of the Ontario Provincial Police in January 2008 after receiving a complaint of an alleged sexual assault that occurred while a (then) teenage boy visited Msgr. Borne.

As a result of the original investigation others then came forward.

Charges in relation to three alleged victims were first laid against the monsignor in April 2009.

Then in June, police began looking into allegations that Msgr. Borne sexually assaulted other teenage boys.

He was arrested in June, 2009 when he turned himself in at the Renfrew Ontario Provincial Police detachment.

With files from Tina Peplinskie

1 Response to Court process continues

  1. Larry Green says:

    One of the cases not permitted to go to trial is the one who was originally responsible for the launching of the investigation with a complaint of sexual assault. This denial by the judge gives the defence a lot of amunition to further exploit the victims and their families going to trial.Borne is betting that the judge will be more objective than a jury can be and rely more on concrete and consistent factual testimony.
    The whole reason for the jury system is that we believe jurors (ordinary Non-Legal citizens)are generaly speaking better at weighing in balance- the precision and consitency of facts -and the fallability of memory. We the potential jurors , some of whom have experienced severe trauma in our lives , know how difficult it can be to articulate and describe events that were at the time and probably still are very confusing.
    This truth is obviously especially compounded when the person recounting the traumatic events is a child.
    I’m not suggesting we should convict people based on the whims of passion but I think with this sort of crime more so than any other it is highly unlikely that justice can be restored by reason alone.

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