“Ontario priest convicted of 1979 assault” & related articles

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 The Pembroke Daily Observer

25 November 2011

By TINA PEPLINSKIE

A Roman Catholic priest sat with his head down next to his lawyer as the judge convicted him of indecently assaulting a teenage boy in 1979.

Following the four-day trial in Pembroke Superior Court, Monsignor Robert Borne, 63, was found guilty of indecent assault and gross indecency for the 1979 incident which occurred at the rectory in Griffith and acquitted of the same charges in relation to incidents alleged to have occurred in 1981 at the St. Columbkille Cathedral rectory, where he lived at the time..

In delivering the verdict, Madame Justice Julianne Parfett explained that while she found the alleged victim from the 1981 events to be an unreliable witness because of the number of contradictions and inconsistencies in his testimony, she also found Msgr. Borne to be evasive while testifying in his own defence, contrary to his lawyer’s assertion that his client testified in a straight-forward manner without contradictions.

The sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 10, 2012.

See Saturday’s Daily Observer for the full story.

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Ontario priest convicted of 1979 assault

The Recorder & Times

25 November 2011

By Tina Peplinskie, QMI Agency

PEMBROKE, ONT. – A Roman Catholic priest has been found guilty of indecently assaulting a teenage boy in 1979.

Monsignor Robert Borne, 63, was also found guilty of gross indecency, but acquitted of the same charges in relation to another alleged assault in 1981.

Justice Julianne Parfett said she found the alleged victim from the 1981 events to be an unreliable witness because of the number of contradictions and inconsistencies in his testimony. But she also said Borne was evasive in his own testimony.

On the charges Borne was convicted on, Parfett said the victim’s evidence was consistent throughout, adding he was “scrupulously honest” while giving his testimony.

Borne denied having non-consensual relations with either of the boys, who are now in their 40s.

He admitted to mutual groping between himself and a 16-year-old boy at a rectory in Griffith, Ont., located 150 km west of Ottawa, on a weekend when he was filling in for another priest.

He told the court he did not have any intentions of coming onto the boy. He said the teenager began telling him about a recent sexual encounter with a girl at a party when he was drunk. The teenager told the priest he didn’t mind having sex with men or women, Borne testified.

It was after the discussion that the groping occurred.

Following the conviction, the Diocese of Pembroke issued a release expressing its sincere compassion to the individuals who brought forth the charges.

“We recognize the anguish with which they are struggling,” the release said. “These charges are challenging for all involved in the process. In respect to the decision rendered by the court, the Diocese of Pembroke continues to pledge pastoral concern to all involved in this matter.”

Bruce Pappin, spokesman for the diocese, confirmed Borne remains relieved of his duties within the church, which occurred when he was charged in 2009. The matter has been referred to the Vatican for further investigation.

Borne will be sentenced April 10.

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Pembroke priest found guilty of indecent assault

25 November 2011

ctvottawa.ca

A Pembroke priest was found guilty Friday on two counts each of gross indecency and indecent assault stemming from incidents that involved two teenage boys three decades ago.

The charges are related to incidents that took place in 1979 and 1981 when Msgr. Robert Borne worked as a priest in Pembroke and the small community of Griffith, located about 50 kilometres southwest of Renfrew.

The two male victims, who are now in their 40s, testified during a week-long trial.

Madame Justice Julianne Parfett handed down a guilty verdict on Friday. Borne, a Pembroke native, will be sentenced in April.

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Pembroke Priest Found Guilty of Gross Indecency, Indecent Assault

CFRA Ottawa

Friday, November 25, 2011

Lauren Davis

A Pembroke priest has been found guilty on two counts each of gross indecency and indecent assault stemming from incidents that involved two teenage boys three decades ago.

The charges are related to incidents that took place in 1979 and 1981 when Monsignor Robert Borne worked as a priest in Pembroke and the small community of Griffith, about 50 kilometres southwest of Renfrew.

The two male victims, who are now in their 40s, testified during a week-long trial.

Borne will be sentenced in April.

_____________________________

Ontario priest convicted of 1979 assault

Today’s Farmer

25 November 2011

By Tina Peplinskie, QMI Agency 

PEMBROKE, ONT. – A Roman Catholic priest has been found guilty of indecently assaulting a teenage boy in 1979.

Monsignor Robert Borne, 63, was also found guilty of gross indecency, but acquitted of the same charges in relation to another alleged assault in 1981.

Justice Julianne Parfett said she found the alleged victim from the 1981 events to be an unreliable witness because of the number of contradictions and inconsistencies in his testimony. But she also said Borne was evasive in his own testimony.

On the charges Borne was convicted on, Parfett said the victim’s evidence was consistent throughout, adding he was “scrupulously honest” while giving his testimony.

Borne denied having non-consensual relations with either of the boys, who are now in their 40s.

He admitted to mutual groping between himself and a 16-year-old boy at a rectory in Griffith, Ont., located 150 km west of Ottawa, on a weekend when he was filling in for another priest.

He told the court he did not have any intentions of coming onto the boy. He said the teenager began telling him about a recent sexual encounter with a girl at a party when he was drunk. The teenager told the priest he didn’t mind having sex with men or women, Borne testified.

It was after the discussion that the groping occurred.

Following the conviction, the Diocese of Pembroke issued a release expressing its sincere compassion to the individuals who brought forth the charges.

“We recognize the anguish with which they are struggling,” the release said. “These charges are challenging for all involved in the process. In respect to the decision rendered by the court, the Diocese of Pembroke continues to pledge pastoral concern to all involved in this matter.”

Bruce Pappin, spokesman for the diocese, confirmed Borne remains relieved of his duties within the church, which occurred when he was charged in 2009. The matter has been referred to the Vatican for further investigation.

Borne will be sentenced April 10.

16 Responses to “Ontario priest convicted of 1979 assault” & related articles

  1. Lina says:

    In (the Daily) Pembroke Observer newspaper today Saturday Dec. 10/11 there is a letter to the editor by an Al Donohue from Pembroke ON.

    I cannot find this article on line. This man states it’s about trying to find some fairness in the Monsignor Robert Borne’s situation. The article is long.

    Mr. Donohue says it takes two to tango. If one name is published, both names should be published. But when he is a teenager who considers himself mature enough to consume alcohol he believes he is old enough to suffer the consequences.

    Borne’s name was splashed all over Valley newspapers.

    I believe he is saying the names of C1 and C2 real names should also be mentioned in the newspapers also.

    Maybe somebody else who read the article can comment.

  2. Lina: YIKES! I guess Mr. Donohue seems to think that no one is actually a victim in these crimes! Why would the State begin to publish the names of any child who is sexually victimized by an adult? That would only serve to harm them even further by opening them them up to salacious innuendo. This is why the courts NEVER release the names of any child victim.

    I think the most charitable thing that can be said is that he did not fully think through the consequences of his suggestion. At worst, he demonstrates a distinct lack of caring for the victims of childhood sexual abuse.

    Fr. Tim

    • Larry Green says:

      In fact Mr. Donohue does think there is a victim in these crimes and Mr. Donohue thinks it is good old Bobby Borne , the Borne family, the Catholic church and all the good priests and the perpetrators are the drunkard teens who seduced poor innocent bobby . Al Donohue used to piss me off when I sat on Parish counsel with him but the idiot has never caused me to be so enraged as I am right now.
      This pathetic excuse for a “ christian” sickens me and as sickening as it is , it represents a prevailing attitude among people who view themselves as such “good catholics.” This is a sorry example of what happens when people fall so deeply in love with themselves thinking that they are the God that has come to save the church. This is the evil that is perpetuated by perverts , enablers , church officials and pathetic fanatics. It is the emerging bile that stems from the evil within and it seeks to do nothing but create evil and turmoil inside and out . It is precisely the kind of destructive garbage that turn good people away from the church by the millions , thank God that Jesus has more influence on humanity than the catholic church does. And don’t come and tell me that the catholic church can’t be held responsible for donohues pathetic position (if one can even call it a position , I don’t know what to call it) because they are , they are enablers in this regard too and they and they condone it and they very cleverly and insidiously encourage it.
      I sure do hope that the victims in this particular case can somehow find a way to know that THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS NOT GOD and despite what the likes of all the donohues have to say , YOU HAVE DONE THE RIGHT THING and I for one would welcome the opportunity to speak and more importantly to listen personally to any of you at any time.
      I also urge that any victims contemplating coming forward not to be deterred by such puke.

  3. Sylvia says:

    Can anyone scan a copy of the Letter to Editor in today’s Pembroke Observer which Lina is referencing? If anyone can, would you please send me a copy at: cornwall@theinquiry.ca

  4. Larry Green says:

    Sylvia, I have sent a copy, although I’m not sure if I did it right. Please let me know and if you don’t have it I’ll try another way.

  5. Sylvia says:

    Thanks Larry. I got it and it you did it right 🙂 I am going to try to convert it to a text article and, all being well, will post it shortly.

  6. Sylvia says:

    The Letter to the Editor is posted:

    10 December 2011: Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive others. . .

    Unbelievable!!

    • Lina says:

      Sylvia,

      When you were in Pembroke at Monsignor Robert Borne’s trial I recall you saying a reporter(s) from “The Eganville Leader” was the only other newspaper covering the Borne trial.

      I just learned today….that same letter to the editor by a Mr. Al Donohue that appeared in “The Daily Pembroke Observer” newspaper this past Saturday Dec. 10th, also appeared in the well known newspaper “The Eganville Leader” edition of Wednesday, December 7, 2011. (on page B4.)

      • C1 says:

        Good work Lina.

        • Lina says:

          Thank you C1, this means a lot to me especially coming from you.

          I’ve learned so much personally from clergy abuse victims myself and what their family members go through.

          For all those victims that come forward thank-you!

          For those victims that do not come forward for whatever reasons. You are in my thoughts and I am wishing you all peace.

          Many thanks C1.

          Sincerely,
          Lina

  7. Michel Bertrand says:

    The sexual abuse of children is a crime. The criminals are the men and women who choose to act on their impulse. It is selfish and does not consider the harm it does to the children. This is about criminal behaviour. I am a forgiving person, I have sat and chatted with some of the most dangerous and repulsive criminals and found them delightful at times but would not turn my back on them or trust them or believe some of what comes from their lips. God gave me the gift of discernment. Catholics/Christians love their own people, muslim’s love their own people and we hold to those tenets dearly as the WAY. Our beliefs give us direction and solace. In this case however for the sake of discussion this is about the sexual abuse of children the criminal act not the sin. You want forgiveness , then admit your crime/sin to the police, understand that what was done was wrong, go to jail for the prescribed time, get out of the priesthood, get professional help and stay away from children. I don’t think that the Churches present stance of sticking their heads in the sand is helping it’s mandate and not airing our dirty laundry is the same type of attitude that keeping it private encourages. Break the silence speak and stand, support the survivors this is how the church will become clean by knowing full well they cannot hide behind their cloth as shepherd’s hitting on their lambs as it will not be tolerated. Do these things and the Church will be on track to regaining credibility and if they don’t get their heads out of the sand they will perish as an institution.

  8. Ceilidhe says:

    Larry Green, I agree with you 100% on this. What a pathetic attempt to blame Bob Borne’s victims rather than blaming Bob Borne, the adult who sexually victimized minors. If I hadn’t already quit the Observer, I would cancel my subscription over them printing this mindless drivel! Any of us Catholics who want to protect the Church need to weed out the child molesters, not protect and enable them. If this doesn’t happen, all the decent priests and worshipers will leave and only a cult of molesters will remain.

  9. metoo says:

    The age of consent was 14 years old. So the boy in question was not a minor or child.

    • Sylvia says:

      From 1969 to 1985 all acts of gross indecency were legal ONLYy when committed between consenting adults age 21 and over. Somewhere around 1985 “gross indecency” was removed from the criminal code.

      In other words, metoo, the age of consent for acts of gross indecency was 21 NOT 14.

    • Larry Green says:

      @metoo, if you really believe that Borne is a wrongfully convicted child molester, then why wont you come out from hiding, stand behind your conviction and if you choose to defend him at the very least have the courage to put your name where your metoo is`.
      He has been found guilty and he got off very lucky with no prison time, he is still wearing his collar, he is still Msrg. Borne, he is still a priest, he still lives in a house alone owned by the Pembroke diocese.
      Why is it that you still feel the need to continue -from the shadows – to elevate the predator and to relentlessly degrade the vulnerable ones that he preyed upon?

  10. B says:

    … so that makes it all right for a PRIEST to have sexual relations with someone decades younger than himself?!?

    Besides that, there seems to be some doubt that the boy actually consented.

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