Justice Edward J Houston
Justice Edward Houston is the judge who acquitted Father Michael Mullins and belittled the hitchhiker/complainant/”skateboarder” in the 1990 Ottawa sex abuse trial of Father Michael Mullins. Houston claimed he did not understand why it took the complainant hitchhiker at least 15 minutes to tell police that Mullins was sexually assaulting him as they drove because in his, Houston’s, experience ‘skateboarders are seldom shy.’ (The complainant testified that he waited because he was shy and embarrassed)
Most of the information below gives an idea of Houston’s liberal mindset regarding sexual predators and sexual assault before he took the bench in the Mullins sex abuse trial.
Arnprior District High School has been offering a $200 Edward J. Houston Memorial Award for Drama for the past few years. The award is donated by the family of the Hon. Judge E. J. Houston, former ADHS student
1992 listed as retired
Criticism won’t prompt action against judge
The Ottawa Citizen
30 September 1986
Daniel Drolet, Citizen staff writer
The senior district court judge in Ottawa-Carleton says Judge Edward Houston likely will continue to preside over sexual assault trials despite recent criticism of two of his decisions by local victim support groups.
Judge Keith Flanigan said that, in almost every ruling, somebody is unhappy with the judge’s decision.
He said he did not see any need for action against Houston in this case.
The Sexual Assault Support Centre and the Rape Crisis Centre are upset at two rulings Houston made earlier this month.
In one case, the judge ordered probation instead of a jail term for a 27-year-old man convicted of sexually assaulting a five-year-old girl.
In the other, which involves the sentencing of a 67-year-old man convicted of fondling a 10-year-old boy, Houston said the best way to help children deal with sexual assault was to help them forget about it.
In that case, Houston gave the man a suspended sentence and put him on three years’ probation. The Crown is considering appealing the sentence.
Valerie Davis, a spokesman for the Rape Crisis Centre in Ottawa, said Monday her group has different feelings about how to deal with child victims.
“Sexual assault is very traumatic and half the people we are in touch with are adults who were victims of incest when they were children, which is a very strong indicator that they cannot forget.” The Sexual Assault Support Centre takes a similar stand and has sent a letter to Judge William Lyon, chief judge of Ontario district courts, requesting Houston try no more cases involving sexual assault.
Laure Leduc, a spokesman for the support centre, said the group is angered and dismayed byHouston’s two rulings.
She said her group feels children who are victims of sexual abuse have to learn to deal with it rather than forget it.
Flanigan said complaints about a judge’s propriety should be addressed to the province’s Judicial Council, which oversees judges’ conduct on the bench.
Judge says court no place for sexually assaulted boy
The Ottawa Citizen
06 September 1986
Abby Deveney Citizen staff writer
The mother of a young sexual assault victim was enraged Friday when a judge sentencing the offender suggested neither she nor her son should be in the courtroom, adding that children should be encouraged to forget such ordeals.
District court Judge Edward Houston made those remarks as he gave 67-year-old Arthur Prouton, of Glenridge Road in Nepean, a suspended sentence for sexual assault and placed him on three years probation.
Prouton was convicted in May of fondling the 10-year-old boy, who he and his wife babysat overnight regularly last summer in their home.
“I’m disgusted, totally disgusted,” said theNepeanmother of two. Because her son is a victim of sexual assault and cannot be identified, she cannot be named.
A veteran trial judge with a decade of experience on the bench,Houston, 68, criticized the woman as she and her son came into court for the hearing.
“I see the mother and the victim are here, I think that’s very bad judgment,”Houston said.
The remark was made before two defence lawyers, a Crown prosecutor, a police investigator, court staff and some observers. It was entered on the public record as part of the hearing.
Houstonalso said he felt the best way to assist children who have been sexually assaulted is to help them “forget all about it.”
The number of children coming to criminal court as witnesses has increased dramatically in recent years with the number of police charges.
One observer in the courtroom, who asked not to be identified, commented after the sentence: “It’s time we brought this guy into the 20th century.”
While the mother called the punishment a “non-sentence,” it was Houston’s comments that infuriated her most.
“I’m very angry. My son had every right to be in that courtroom. He has been through this thing for a whole year. He has every right to see the outcome.”
The boy testified at a preliminary hearing and at the trial.
Sam Morreale, director of the Ontario Centre for the Prevention of Child Abuse in Toronto, said children who are sexually abused must deal with the trauma before they can learn to forget it.
Bringing a child into a courtroom to hear the proceedings against their assailant may be one way of helping children put the incident behind them, he said.
Houston ordered Prouton to stay away from children under the age of 14 and not to have any in his home unless they’re related or it has been approved by a probation officer.
Houston also told Prouton to take any medical treatment the counsellor sees fit.
Three years on probation is the maximum probation allowed under the Criminal Code. The maximum jail term for the offence is 10 years.
Judge rejects jail term for child molester
The Ottawa Citizen
05 September 1986
Abby Deveney Citizen staff writer
A district court judge has refused to follow what he called an edict from the attorney general urging stiffer sentences for child molesters, and instead put a man convicted of such a crime on probation.
Judge Edward Houston said Thursday he must consider on its merits the case against a 27-year-old Ottawa man convicted of sexually assaulting a five-year-old girl.
“As much as I admire any attorney general, never have I, nor never will I follow any edict on sentence,”Houstonsaid in dealing with the case against Julien Roy, of Russell Road.
The veteran trial judge placed Roy, who was found guilty in February 1985 of fondling the child, on three years’ probation, the maximum probation term allowed under the Criminal Code.
The maximum jail term for the offence is 10 years.
“This case gives me a great deal of concern,”Houstonsaid, adding he thought a jail term would be of benefit to no one. He called the Crown’s decision not to seek such a term sensible.
Roy, who has a Grade 12 education but says he is illiterate, was convicted of fondling the youngster under her clothing in the middle of the afternoon on the porch of his parents’ home, where he still lives.
The incident, which occurred in the fall of 1984, was seen by two separate witnesses.
Roy’s sentence had been postponed eight times from the 1985 conviction while reports of his psychiatric and sexual state were prepared.
The girl’s family, contacted at home following the sentence, said in an interview they were satisfied with the judge’s decision.
“We don’t mind that he is free as long as he doesn’t do it again,” said the girl’s father.
The father said his daughter did not suffer any psychological trauma because of the incident.
“She was too young to understand.”
As part of the probation terms,Houston ordered Roy to stay away from the victim and from areas such as playgrounds where children under 10 gather, and told him to submit to drug therapy that would reduce his sex drive if doctors called for it.
Roy, who is working as a cleaner evenings at a high school in the Ottawa Board of Education and attending adult school, is also to report to a probation officer weekly and keep his job or stay in school.
Roy could be called back to court and sentenced for the sexual assault if he breaches the probation conditions.
The judge’s comments about the stiffer sentences being sought by the attorney general came after Crown counsel Mac Lindsay said he was not seeking a jail term even though he probably should because of the community’s growing abhorrence of such crimes.
“The accused comes on sentence at a very bad time for accused persons because we as Crown attorneys are asked to make representations for very strong sentences, especially in cases of child molesting,” Lindsay told the court.
Lindsay said the political and social climate of the 80s likely called for prison, pointing to a number of similar cases heard between 1980 and 1985 that resulted in jail terms of between 90 days and five years.
Lindsay cited a number of reasons for his decision: the young girl wasn’t injured, the offence occurred two years ago, the offender is of low intelligence, has no criminal record and is now working and attending school.
Toronto Globe and Mail
Saturday, September 16, 1978
Ottawa ON — OTTAWA (CP) – Judge Edward James Houston has been appointed a full-time member of the Law Reform Commission of Canada, Justice Minister Otto Lang announced yesterday. Judge Houston, formerrly a lawyer in Ottawa, has been a member of York County Court since 1975.
Houston: what a goof!!
Where is Justice Edward Houston ?
I think it is fairly obvious that Houston was a child molester himself.
This bone-head is indeed listed as retired, but I can’t find him anywhere. Originally from Arnprior (close to Pembroke, eh?) maybe he’s living in limbo somewhere in the valley making candles and playing with them. I wonder what in hell the NHL saw in him? Mike.
Justice Houston is dead. Read my account of The Skateboarder – toward the end you will read how Houston called Scot to apologize. Houston had publicly ridiculed Scot in an Ottawa courtroom when he, Houston, acquitted Ottawa priest Michael Miullins. The call and apology came after Mullins was convicted in Ireland.
It’s a sad story.
Thank u for all your work I can’t help but feel it’s the only real therapy I get and thank u for making my side heard I am just plain thankful and everything I read makes me react a little less hurt and tearful .
And my apologies for the run-on sentences I’ve never been good at punctuation