Quebec priests face class-action lawsuit for sex abuse

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50 alleged victims are asking for $100,000 apiece in damages

Posted: Sep 9, 2013 4:31 PM ET

Last Updated: Sep 9, 2013 8:28 PM ET

Raymond-Marie Lavoie is one of the priests named in the class-action lawsuit. He's currently serving a three-year sentence for molesting 13 boys during his time at the St-Alphonse seminary near Quebec City.Raymond-Marie Lavoie is one of the priests named in the class-action lawsuit. He’s currently serving a three-year sentence for molesting 13 boys during his time at the St-Alphonse seminary near Quebec City. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

Seventeen men who claim they were sexually abused when they were boys at a seminary near Quebec City are expected to testify in court as part of a lawsuit against priests.

Court proceedings began today at the Quebec City courthouse for the largest sex abuse class-action lawsuit ever launched in Quebec.

Fifty alleged victims are seeking $100,000 each in damages, plus interest.

Though there have been other civil lawsuits against Quebec priests and religious institutions, this class-action lawsuit is the first to make it to court and be heard by a Quebec judge. All of the others were settled out of court.

The day’s proceedings started with a visit to the St-Alphonse Seminary in Ste-Anne-de-Beaupré, just outside the provincial capital.

The judge, the lawyers and the person who launched the lawsuit, Frank Tremblay, visited the site where a number of boys were allegedly assaulted by the seminary’s priests in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s.

The visit was followed in court by the testimony of Raymond-Marie Lavoie, the only priest to have been successfully pursued in criminal court.

Lavoie is currently serving a three-year sentence after pleading guilty in July 2011 to assaulting 13 boys during the era he supervised the seminary’s dormitory.

Another of the St-Alphonse priests, Jean-Claude Bergeron, was arrested at the same time as Lavoie and pleaded guilty to molesting three boys. He hasn’t been sentenced yet.

The others named in the lawsuit are Guy Pilote, François Plourde, Xiste Langevin, Hervé Blanchette, Alexis Trépanier, Léon Roy and Lucien de Blois. Many of them are dead.

The proceedings are scheduled to last 20 days.

3 Responses to Quebec priests face class-action lawsuit for sex abuse

  1. Sylvia says:

    Eight more accused priests: Jean-Claude Bergeronn Guy Pilote, François Plourde, Xiste Langevin, Hervé Blanchette, Alexis Trépanier, Léon Roy and Lucien de Blois.

    I will get to work to see what information I can find on each and add their names to the Accused list. This may create problems in over-loading the page – I think I may now have split the list alphabetically, but, I’ll see what I can do.

    • Robert Trudeau says:

      I know of a few childhood friends that went to that st alphonse boarding school in st ann de beaupré and they(friends) were always talking in code names for the priests and they were describing to each others what the priests were forcing them to do sexualy and so forth . It came to me that if the pictures of thoses pedophiles could be made available here when they were in there there primes maybe there would be more people calling in to denounce them. Why not post all there pictures here ?

      • Sylvia says:

        If someone sends the pictures I will post them Robert. Does anyone have old pictures of any or all of these nine Redemptorst priests? If yes, please send them to me (cornwall@theinquiry.ca).

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