Ralph: Brother Allan Ralph

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Christian Brother.  Teacher. Served at Mount Cashel orphanage in St. John’s, Newfoundland.  Was ordered to leave Mount Cashel in 1970 after reported for sex abusing boys.  Taught at St. Patrick’s Hall for two years.  Led a Boy Scout troop.  Returned to Mount Cashel when Brother Douglas Kenny took over as Superintendent (Kenny was later convicted for sexually abusing boys at Mount Cashel).  1989: Charged – GUILTY plea.  Ten known victims were willing to testify against him in court . Eventually sentenced to 6 years in jail.  In 1993 faced five new charges – outcome of these charges unknown

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10 March 1993: R v Ralph (Supreme Court of Newfoundland and labrador Court of Appeal) four year sentence extended to six years

May 1993:   appeared in Ontario court to face five-sex related charges (M) outcome of these charges unknown

10 March 1993:  on appeal, sentence revised to six years (L)

GUILTY plea.  Sentenced to four years

1990: he and other Christian Brothers were not compelled to testify at the Hughes Inquiry after commissioner agreed that to do so would jeopardize their right to a fair trial (M)

11 January 1990: committed to stand trial (M)

17 April 1989:  age 44.  Charged with five counts of indecent assault against young boys (M)

living in a Christian Brothers residence in Mono Mills, Ontario (M)

October 1976:  returned to teaching – taught in Ontario and in the West Indies until his arrest in 1989 (L)

early 1976:  spent two months in Southdown, Aurora Ontario for treatment “in connection with his sexual activities with young boys.” (L)

1975:  after leaving Newfoundland spent some time at a Christian Brothers residence in Toronto (L)

1975: after interviewing boys from Mount Cashel re allegations of sex abuse, Detective Robert Hillier  wanted to interview and arrest Brothers Ralph and Edward English. He was prevented from doing so by  then police chief John Lawlor and his assistant, John Norman. (M)

After receiving the police reports Vince McCarthy, the then Newfoundland Deputy Minister of Justice,  made a deal with Brother Gabriel McHugh not to lay charges if Brothers Edward English and Allan Ralph were ordered out of Newfoundland.  McCarthy advised police  to end the investigation.  Charges were not laid (M)  Months later three more brothers accused of sex abuse left Newfoundland without being charged (M)

1972:  After Brother Douglas Kenny became Superintendent at Mount Cashel Brother Allan Ralph returned to the orphanage (M)

1974:  according to legal documents he returned to Mount Cashel in 1974, but in reading the remainder of the document it would appear that Ralph was there in 1972 (L).  He lived at Mount Cashel while teaching at schools in St. John’s (L)

1970:  after he was reported for sexually abusing boys at Mount Cashel Brother Ralph was sent to live at St. Patrick’s Monastery, another Christian Brothers facility.   The staff/residents at the monastery were allegedly not told why he was being relocated (M)

according to legal documents he lived at St. Francis Monastery and continued to teach at St. Patrick’s High School in St/ John’s (L)

1967: assigned to Moutn Cashel Orphanage, St/ John’s Newfoundland.  He taught at St. Patrick’s High School in St. John’s, lived at Mount Cashel, and at the orphanage shared the duties of caring for the residents (L)

1963: Graduated from high school in Grand Falls, Newfoundland and joined the Christian Brothers (L)

DOB:  22 October 1944

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Brother in court

The Calgary Herald

02 June 1993

ST. JOHN`S, Nfld. (CP) — Christian Brother Allan Ralph returned to provincial court Tuesday to face new charges of sexually abusing young boys at the Mount Cashel orphanage in the late 1960s.

Ralph, 48, was charged with four counts of buggery, indecent assaults and acts of gross indecency against one former resident, and indecently assaulting another boy at the orphanage between in 1967 and 1968.

Two other Christian Brothers serving prison terms for sexually abusing young boys at the Catholic-run orphanage also face new charges.

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More charges laid against two Mount Cashel brothers

The Toronto Star

16 May 1993

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. (CP) – Police have laid more charges against two Christian Brothers currently serving prison terms for sexually abusing boys at the former Mount Cashel Orphanage in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The charges, stemming from alleged incidents at the orphanage in 1967-68 and in 1975, include buggery, indecent assaults and committing acts of gross indecency against one former resident; and two counts of indecently assaulting another young boy.

Allan Ralph, 48, is to appear in Ontario Court, provincial division, May 20 to face five sex-related charges. Ralph was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to 10 counts of indecent assault and one of gross indecency against 10 boys in the orphanage.

Harold Richard Thorne, 53, is to appear June 30 to face one charge of committing indecent assault on a resident in 1973. Thorne was sentenced in 1991 to six years for convictions on two counts of gross indecency, one of buggery and one of indecent assault against four former residents.

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Catholic brothers deny making deal in sex case

The Toronto Star

29 June 1990

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. (CP) – The Christian Brothers never struck a deal in 1975 to allow brothers suspected of abusing boys to be sent out of Newfoundland, says a lawyer for the Roman Catholic lay order.

Frank O’Dea told the Hughes inquiry yesterday that senior brothers had been ordered to make the transfer by the province’s deputy justice minister at the time, Vincent McCarthy.

“In truth, the congregation (of brothers) was told what to do,” said O’Dea, on the second-last day of hearings into the way the province handled cases of physical and sexual abuse of children.

“They had no input into the discussion.”

Evidence has shown that McCarthy, now dead, met with senior brothers in late 1975 after receiving a police report on child abuse at the Mount Cashel orphanage in St. John’s.

It was agreed that two brothers, Edward English and Allan Ralph, would be sent out of the province. Weeks later, McCarthy told police not to lay charges.

“Mr. McCarthy had made a decision and told them (senior brothers) to remove brothers English and Ralph from this community and this province,” O’Dea said.

After nine months of testimony, the hearings, which are scheduled to wrap up today, are ending with lengthy submissions by interested parties.

Inquiry head Samuel Hughes is to submit his report to the Newfoundland government before the end of the year.

For almost eight months the inquiry focused on allegations that police and justice officials knew of, but covered up, the abuse of orphanage boys. Some 26 boys complained to police in late 1975 but no charges were laid at the time.

Nine orphanage brothers and former brothers were charged with child abuse last year after former residents finally went public with their complaints. The scandal forced the institution to close earlier this month.

O’Dea said yesterday that the lay order regrets not assisting the boys in 1975 with counselling and other forms of treatment.

“It was regrettable; we have no excuse,” O’Dea said. “Perhaps we should have known . . . perhaps we were not as sensitized.”

Meanwhile, James Chalker, a lawyer for McCarthy’s estate, said the former deputy minister was not the type to act rashly.

“He was a cautious man and a person who knew the borders of his authority and would not likely go beyond those limitations,” Chalker said.

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Child abuse suspects excused from inquiry

The Toronto Star

30 January 1990

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. (CP) – Christian Brothers charged with child abuse at the Mount Cashel orphanage will not testify at a judicial inquiry into the scandal.

Inquiry head Samuel Hughes made the ruling yesterday, saying such testimony could jeopardize the brothers’ chances of a fair trial.

“The concern with providing the proper environment for a fair trial is one that has always been in the mind of commission counsel and myself,” Hughes said after hearing submissions from inquiry lawyers.

Another reason the brothers shouldn’t be called is to ensure the crown’s ability to prosecute, Hughes said.

Nine brothers and former brothers were charged last year with abusing boys at the orphanage from the mid-1970s to 1989. The institution is run by the Roman Catholic lay order.

The inquiry, which is investigating whether there has been a cover-up, had wanted to call five of those nine men who were at the orphanage in 1975, when police first investigated complaints.

It intended to ask the five brothers about a deal testified to by Brother Gabriel McHugh, head of the lay order.

McHugh said he struck the deal in 1975 with a justice official to send two brothers, Edward English and Allan Ralph, who were suspected of abuse out of the province in exchange for charges not being laid.

In surprise testimony later yesterday, a high-ranking member of the lay order said one of the two brothers was transferred to a British Columbia school in 1976, barely four months after his admission of sexual abuse.

Brother Gordon Bellows, a member of the brothers’ governing council in Rome, testified he interviewed English and Ralph in late 1975 and both men admitted to sexual abuse.

But four months later the brother – he did not say whether it was English or Ralph – was given a clean bill of health by a treatment centre for the clergy.

“On the basis of that favorable report, it was thought that this person would fit into a school environment,” Bellows testified.

He supported McHugh’s claims of a deal.

Subpoenas to testify had been served on English and Ralph, both of whom were charged in April, 1989, with indecent assault against young boys. But Ralph had asked the Newfoundland Supreme Court to quash the order because he said it violated his constitutional rights to a fair trial.

Ralph, 44, who now lives in Mono Mills, north of Metro, will stand trial on five counts of indecent assault. English, 40, also of Mono Mills, will be tried on 11 abuse charges.

Richard Rogers, a lawyer for former residents, told Hughes he’s concerned all the facts about the deal may never be revealed unless the brothers testify.

“Obviously these witnesses would have extremely important information for us,” Rogers said. “If we don’t hear it now we may never hear of it in the future.”

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Nfld. justice official banished Brothers

The Windsor Star

29 June 1990

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. (CP) – The Christian Brothers never struck a deal in 1975 to send brothers suspected of abusing boys at Mount Cashel orphanage out of Newfoundland, a lawyer for the Roman Catholic lay order said Thursday.

Frank O’Dea told the Hughes inquiry that senior brothers had in fact been ordered by the province’s then-deputy justice minister, Vincent McCarthy, to make the transfer.

“In truth, the congregation (of brothers) was told what to do,” said O’Dea, on the second-last day of hearings into the way the province handled cases of physical and sexual abuse of children.

“They had no input into the discussion.”

Evidence has shown that McCarthy, who has since died, met with senior brothers in late 1975 after receiving a police report on child abuse at the St. John’s orphanage.

It was agreed that two brothers – Edward English and Allan Ralph – would be sent out of the province. Weeks later, McCarthy told police not to lay charges.

“Mr. McCarthy had made a decision and told them (senior brothers) to remove brothers English and Ralph from this community and this province,” said O’Dea. After nine months of testimony, the hearings, which are scheduled to wrap up today, are ending with lengthy submissions by interested parties.

After the hearings, inquiry head Samuel Hughes will write his report and submit it to the Newfoundland government before the end of the year.

For almost eight months the inquiry focused on allegations that police and justice officials knew of – but covered up – the abuse of orphanage boys. Some 26 boys complained to police in late 1975 but no charges were laid at that time.

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Brothers escape inquiry testimony; lawyers protest

The Windsor Star

30 January 1990

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. (CP) – An inquiry into the Mount Cashel orphanage was criticized Monday after ruling that Christian Brothers charged with child abuse won’t have to testify.

Inquiry head Samuel Hughes ended weeks of speculation by saying such testimony could jeopardize the brothers’ chances of fair trials.

“The concern with providing the proper environment for a fair trial is one that has always been in the mind of commission counsel and myself,” said the 72-year-old retired Ontario judge.

Inquiry lawyers wanted to call five brothers who may know about a 1975 deal to transfer two brothers suspected of abuse out of the province in exchange for no charges being laid.

SUBPOENAS TO testify had been served on brothers Edward English and Allan Ralph. But Ralph asked the Newfoundland Supreme Court to quash the order because he said it violated his constitutional rights to a fair trial.

Former orphanage resident Dereck O’Brien was outraged by Hughes’s decision.

“We, the boys, bared our souls to the inquiry, so why shouldn’t these guys do the same,” said O’Brien, one of more than 30 former residents who testified last fall about physical and sexual abuse.

The 1975 deal is at the heart of a possible coverup of abuse at the St. John’s orphanage, run by the Roman Catholic lay order.

Police interviewed 26 orphanage boys in the mid-1970s but laid no charges then. Nine brothers and former brothers were charged last year after former residents went public with their complaints.

BROTHER GABRIEL McHugh, head of the lay order, has testified he struck a deal in 1975 with Vincent McCarthy, then deputy justice minister, to send Ralph and English out of Newfoundland.

Ralph, 44, who now lives in Mono Mills, Ont., will stand trial on five counts of indecent assault. English, 40, also of Mono Mills, will be tried on 11 abuse charges.

Meanwhile, Richard Rogers, a lawyer for former residents, told the inquiry the truth about the deal may never be revealed if the brothers don’t testify.

“Obviously, these witnesses would have extremely helpful information for us,” said Rogers. “If we can’t take avail of it now, we might not ever hear of it in the future.”

Hughes said such fears are unwarranted.

“We have had a good deal of evidence, so the possibility of not ever knowing what has been alleged is a remote one,” he said.

Hughes said if the brothers are called to testify, the Crown’s ability to prosecute may be weakened.

Inquiry lawyer David Day said he and co-counsel Clay Powell agreed the brothers shouldn’t testify because the rights of the accused take precedent.

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2 ordered to trial

The Vancouver Province

12 January 1990

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. – Two Christian Brothers have been committed to stand trial on sex-related charges involving boys at the Mount Cashel orphanage here after preliminary hearings yesterday.

Allan Ralph, 44, faces five counts of indecent assault involving incidents at Mount Cashel between 1973 and 76.

Kevin Short, 38, faces one count each of indecent assault and gross indecency during the same period.

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Abusers aided, not boys, Cashel witness testifies

The Ottawa Citizen

16 December 1989

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. (CP) — As abuse complaints swirled around the Mount Cashel orphanage in 1975, the approach of the Christian Brothers was to help the suspected abusers — not the victims, an inquiry was told Friday.

In the last day of hearings before a month-long break, Brother Gerard Gabriel McHugh, head of the Roman Catholic lay order, said that in 1975 he was woefully ignorant of the effects of sexual abuse on children.

“The best procedure was thought to be to try to rehabilitate the perpetrators so that this kind of thing can be minimized or prevented from happening in the future,” McHugh told inquiry head Samuel Hughes.

Regrettably, he said, no steps were taken to help the boys who complained.

For the past two days, McHugh has given revealing testimony about how the lay order and government handled complaints of physical and sexual abuse at the St. John’s home for boys, run by the brothers.

On Thursday, McHugh said that in December 1975.

He and then deputy minister of justice, the late Vincent McCarthy, agreed no charges would be laid if the two brothers — Edward English and Allan Ralph — were sent out of the province.

On Friday, McHugh, Canadian head of the brothers in 1975, said he didn’t try to interview the boys who complained and he didn’t try to contact government officials.

Instead, he relied on the police to conduct an investigation and sent the two brothers to treatment centres in Aurora, Ont., and Massachusetts.

The inquiry adjourned Friday for the Christmas season after 54 days of public hearings and about 100 witnesses. The hearings will resume Jan. 15 for what will likely be a dramatic conclusion.

Expected to testify at that time are the heads of several government departments in 1975, including a former justice minister, Alex Hickman.

Inquiry lawyer Clay Powell said the commission is struggling with the question of whether five members and former members of the Roman Catholic lay order should be called to the stand.

Lawyers for several brothers have said they don’t want their clients to testify because it would jeopardize their chances of a fair trial on abuse charges.

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Deputy justice minister named as one who quashed abuse case

The Windsor Star

15 December 1989

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. (CP) – A justice official ordered two Christian Brothers out of Newfoundland in 1975 after deciding not to charge them with sexual assault, says the head of the Roman Catholic lay order.

Brother Gabriel McHugh rocked an inquiry Thursday by saying the order was part of a deal he struck with a deputy minister of justice on abuse complaints at the Mount Cashel orphanage.

AND MONTHS LATER, three more brothers left the St. John’s institution after they too were accused of mistreating boys, he said.

McHugh claimed the agreement was reached at a meeting between himself, the then deputy minister – the late Vincent McCarthy – and Brother Dermott Nash at the Justice Department in December 1975.

The meeting occurred shortly after police began investigating the complaints and had submitted the first of two reports to McCarthy, he said.

McHugh, who oversees the international lay order from Rome, said it was McCarthy’s idea to move Brother Edward English and Brother Allan Ralph out of the province.

“He (McCarthy) indicated at that time that no charges would be laid . . . and that the (police) report would be placed in the files,” claimed McHugh.

“He told me to transfer the two brothers from the communities in Newfoundland to elsewhere in Canada.”

McHugh said he approved of McCarthy’s directive: “A practical solution, one with which I agreed.”

The question of a high-level deal has been at the heart of the judicial inquiry, headed by retired Ontario judge Samuel Hughes, since it began hearings three months ago.

Witnesses have charged that the complaints were covered up and hinted at a deal implicating McCarthy. But McHugh’s testimony was the first direct and detailed testimony on the issue.

In 1975, police interviewed 26 orphanage boys but didn’t lay charges until this year, after former residents complained publicly. Nine brothers and former brothers have been charged – including the five brothers in question.

McHugh, who was the Canadian head of the brothers in 1975, said he had moved English and Ralph out of the orphanage several days before he met with McCarthy.

The two men were moved to facilities run by the brothers in Corner Brook and Grand Falls. After McCarthy’s order, they went to treatment centres in Ontario and the United States.

McHugh said he first learned about the sexual abuse complaints against the brothers, and a subsequent police investigation, during a telephone call from Nash, his top Newfoundland official.

He immediately flew into St. John’s from Ontario and was told by English and Ralph that the allegations were true.

Then, in March of 1976, McHugh said he received more bad news from Nash. Three more brothers – orphanage director Douglas Kenny, Kevin Short and Joseph Burke – had become the subjects of similar allegations.

NASH ALSO INDICATED he met again with McCarthy, said McHugh.

Accused of physical abuse, Burke moved into a local monastery while Kenny had already left on sabbatical leave for Rome. Short stopped working at the orphanage.

Later that month, McHugh said he wrote to McCarthy telling him what had happened to the five brothers – his last contact with the deputy minister.

Meanwhile, McHugh made no attempt to interview or identify the boys who complained.

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Justice official told police to scrap 1977 probe of Cashel abuse cases

The Toronto Globe and Mail

06 December 1989

ST. JOHN’S — Canadian Press

An inquiry into abuse at the Mount Cashel orphanage had its first glimpse yesterday at documents indicating that high-level officials sent Christian Brothers suspected of abusing boys out of the province.

Inquiry lawyer Clay Powell produced a copy of a 1977 letter by Vincent McCarthy, a former deputy minister of justice, telling police to end their investigation of the St. John’s home for boys.

”In view of the action taken by the Christian Brothers, further police action is unwarranted in this matter,” Mr. McCarthy said in a letter to John Browne, then chief of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.

Another letter said two orphanage Brothers were sent out of the province for treatment after Mr. McCarthy met senior Brothers in 1975.

It was the first time the inquiry has seen documents supporting the view that officials agreed not to lay charges if abusers were moved – a claim made by previous witnesses and a judge.

The inquiry, headed by Samuel Hughes, began to focus yesterday on how the Newfoundland Justice Department dealt with a 1975 investigation by the constabulary, a provincial police force.

Police interviewed 26 boys but did not lay charges against members of the Roman Catholic lay order until this year, after former residents complained publicly of a coverup.

Mr. Powell read a 1976 letter to Mr. McCarthy from Brother Gabriel McHugh, then Canadian head of the lay order, that said Brother Allan Ralph had been transferred from Mount Cashel to Emmanuel Convalescent Foundation in Aurora, Ont.

”It is the opinion of doctors that brother is in need of psychiatric care,” Brother McHugh said in the letter. ”He (Ralph) . . . will probably need from three to five months’ treatment.” He also said that Brother Edward English received a three-day evaluation at the House of Affirmation in Warwick, Mass., a centre for clergy. Brother English would need another six months of therapy, he told Mr. McCarthy.

Both Brother English and Brother Ralph are among nine Brothers and former Brothers who have recently been charged for physical and sexual abuse. To date, five have been committed to stand trial.

On the stand yesterday, several office workers in the Justice Department in the mid-1970s said they do not know whether the justice minister at that time, Alex Hickman, knew about the letters.

The former minister is now Chief Justice of the Newfoundland Supreme Court and heads the Nova Scotia royal commission into the case of Donald Marshall, who spent 11 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of murder in 1971.

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Publisher killed abuse story, journalists tell Cashel inquiry

The Toronto Globe and Mail

01 December 1989

Kevin Cox

ST. JOHN’S — BY KEVIN COX The Globe and Mail ST. JOHN’S The publisher of the St. John’s Evening Telegram refused to run a story 14 years ago about boys being beaten and fondled at the Mount Cashel orphanage because he did not want to destroy 100 years of good work by the Christian Brothers , two journalists say.

William Kelly and Robert Wakeham, both of whom now work for CBC television in St. John’s, told a royal commission that in either December of 1975 or 1976, they learned that two Christian Brothers had been ordered to leave Newfoundland after being accused of beating boys at the orphanage.

With the journalists’ testimony, the media joined senior police officers, politicians, clergymen, Justice Department officials and social workers in being accused before the commission of keeping quiet about abuse at the orphanage for 14 years.

Mr. Kelly, then news editor of the Telegram, angrily denied taking part in a coverup of the story about the orphanange, saying officials with the Christian Brothers and the Department of Justice misled the journalists about the extent of the abuse.

He told the commission headed by retired Ontario Supreme Court judge Samuel Hughes that after hearing allegations of abuse from the mother of two boys at the orphanage, he confirmed the story with Gerard McHugh, then provincial Superior for the Congregation of Christian Brothers and also talked to G. I. Moore, then superintendant of Mount Cashel.

Mr. Kelly said the two Brothers, Allan Ralph and Edward English, had left Newfoundland and were being treated and no one had been harmed.

He said Justice Department officials told him no criminal charges were warranted.

Both men testified that despite Mr. McHugh’s attempts to persuade Mr. Kelly not to run the story because it would damage the reputation of the Congregation of Christian Brothers, they were eager to have the story published.

But the Telegram’s publisher, Stephen Herder, killed the story.

”I felt it was a legitimate news story and should be used. . . . The thing that swayed him in the opposite direction was that the Brothers have taken care of the situation themselves,” Mr. Kelly said.

He said Mr. Herder also stressed that the alleged events were in the past, the Brothers had been sent away, the Justice Department said there were no grounds for criminal charges and Mr. McHugh said no harm was done.

”His (Mr. Herder’s) position was that the story could do more harm than good, that we could undo the good the Christian Brothers had done for 80 or 90 or 100 years,” Mr. Kelly said.

He said that while he did not agree with Mr. Herder, he believed the publisher’s decision was a reasonable one, considering the information the journalists had at the time.

Mr. Kelly added that he and Mr. Wakeham heard only about isolated incidents of boys being beaten and fondled at Mount Cashel, unlike the large number of cases of violent physical and sexual abuse that have been raised at the commission.

He said he and Mr. Wakeham were misled by both Mr. McHugh and a Justice Department official, who said there were only isolated cases of abuse at Mount Cashel.

”We weren’t part of a coverup, we were victims of a coverup,” Mr. Kelly said angrily.

Mr. Herder has been invited to testify by commission co-counsel Clay Powell and was represented by a lawyer yesterday.

Mr. Wakeham said he was upset at Mr. Herder’s decision to kill the story.

Earlier in the day, John Lawlor, who was chief of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary when the original allegations of abuse at Mount Cashel were investigated in 1975, explained why he can recall very few details about how the matter was handled.

He said he lost his memory after an operation on an aneurism near his heart two years ago and is only now starting to remember things that occurred in 1975.

While four of his officers have insisted Mr. Lawlor made the decision not to charge the two Christian Brothers even after they confessed to abusing boys at Mount Cashel in 1975, the former chief said he had nothing to do with the decision.

He said that decision would have been made by officials in the Justice Department and his assistant chief, the late John Norman. Mr. Lawlor said he does not remember how the decision was made to send the Brothers away from Newfoundland and not to charge them.

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Witness hints at orphanage coverup: Arrest of abuse suspects prevented by senior Newfoundland policemen

The Vancouver Sun

22 November 1989

Stephen Ward

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. – Senior police officials – reluctant to approve an investigation into the Mount Cashel orphanage – prevented the arrest of two Christian Brothers, a retired policeman testified Tuesday.

Robert Hillier, a former detective with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, shocked an inquiry by saying he wanted to arrest Brother Edward English and Brother Allan Ralph in 1975 for child abuse.

But he was prevented from doing so by then-police chief John Lawlor and his assistant, John Norman.

“I was told not to take steps until they got back to me,” said the tall, broad-shouldered Hillier, who recently retired after 25 years on the provincial police force.

Hillier said he had just interviewed 26 orphanage boys in December 1975 and was planning to talk with the brothers – a Roman Catholic lay order that runs the St. John’s orphanage.

But a controversy arose over whether he should even interview the two brothers, although they were planning to leave the province.

“What would you have done, ordinarily?” asked inquiry lawyer Clayton Powell, as the hearing room grew tense and quiet.

“I would have done the interview but I would have arrested them,” replied Hillier, 46. “Without hesitation.”

When Powell asked him if he had grounds for an arrest, Hillier responded firmly: “Oh, there’s no doubt.”

Hillier’s testimony signalled a dramatic turn by the inquiry away from former residents to claims of a coverup of abuse at the orphanage by police and government officials.

The soft-spoken detective launched his 1975 inquiry after the mother of former resident Shane Earle complained that her son had been beaten by a brother.

Hillier produced two reports – in December 1975 and March 1976 – but no charges were laid. In testimony Monday, Hillier vaguely referred to a third report.

Eight brothers and former brothers, including English and Ralph, have recently been charged with physically and sexually abusing boys.

Stopping to recall events, Hillier dropped another bombshell when he said his superiors were reluctant to allow his 1975 investigation to continue.

“There was some confusion as to whether the investigation was going to be conducted or not be conducted,” he testified.

Hillier said talks were held between Lawlor, Norman, and Vincent McCarthy, who was deputy minister of justice at the time. And the investigation was suspended for a day because McCarthy couldn’t reach a decision.

“When the decision couldn’t be made by the deputy minister, I remember that it was because the minister was out of town,” said Hillier.

The minister of justice at that time was T. Alex Hickman, now chief justice of the trial division of the Newfoundland Supreme Court. He is also head of the Nova Scotia royal commission looking into the Donald Marshall case.

Hillier said he did receive permission to continue his investigation, but he felt uncomfortable talking about the case to Lawlor and Norman, instead of his immediate supervisors.

Previous witnesses have claimed that justice officials and the brothers agreed in 1975 that charges wouldn’t be laid if suspected brothers would leave the orphanage.

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Officers blocked arrests, inquiry told

The Toronto Star

22 November 1989

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. (CP) – Senior police officials – reluctant to approve an investigation into the Mount Cashel orphanage – prevented the arrest of two Christian Brothers, a retired policeman has testified.

Robert Hillier, a former detective with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, shocked an inquiry by saying he wanted to arrest Brother Edward English and Brother Allan Ralph in 1975 for child abuse.

But he was prevented from doing so by then police chief John Lawlor and his assistant, John Norman.

“I was told not to take steps until they got back to me,” said Hillier, who recently retired after 25 years on the provincial police force.

Interviewed boys

Hillier said he had just interviewed 26 orphanage boys in December, 1975, and was planning to talk with the brothers – a Roman Catholic lay order that runs the St. John’s orphanage.

But a controversy arose over whether he should even interview the two brothers.

“What would you have done, ordinarily?” asked inquiry lawyer Clayton Powell, as the hearing room grew tense and quiet.

“I would have done the interview but I would have arrested them,” replied Hillier, 46. “Without hesitation.”

When Powell asked him if he had grounds for an arrest, Hillier responded firmly: “Oh, there’s no doubt.”

Hillier’s testimony signalled a dramatic turn by the inquiry away from former residents to claims of a coverup of abuse at the orphanage by police and government officials.

The soft-spoken detective launched his 1975 inquiry after the mother of former resident Shane Earle complained that her son had been beaten by a brother.

Hillier produced two reports – in December, 1975 and March, 1976 – but no charges were laid. In testimony Monday, Hillier vaguely referred to a third report.

Eight brothers and former brothers, including English and Ralph, have recently been charged with physically and sexually abusing boys.

Hillier said he received permission to continue his investigation, but he felt uncomfortable talking about the case to Lawlor and Norman, instead of his immediate supervisors.

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Statement to police about Cashel altered, former resident says

The Toronto Globe and Mail

24  October  1989

Stephen Ward

ST. JOHN’S — BY STEPHEN WARD Canadian Press ST. JOHN’S Police altered a complaint they received from a boy at the Mount Cashel orphanage 14 years ago by leaving out serious allegations of abuse, an inquiry was told yesterday.

Former resident John Williams made the charge as he re-examined his 1975 police statement for the first time since he gave it to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary , the provincial police force.

Looking puzzled by the one-page statement placed in front of him, Mr. Williams said his original complaint was six pages long.

And the one-page document contained allegations against only one Christian Brother when he had accused three Brothers of physical and sexual abuse, he said.

”That’s all that’s there, but where’s the rest of it?” Mr. Williams, 29, said as he shook his head.

”And there’s things that’s put in there that don’t belong there. . . . They’re trying so desperately to get the Brothers off the hook.” Mr. Williams said he had complained about three members of the Roman Catholic lay order that runs the orphanage – Brother Edward English, Brother Douglas Kenny and Brother Allan Ralph.

These men are among eight brothers and former brothers recently charged with abusing boys in the 1970s.

The judicial inquiry – headed by Samuel Hughes, a former Supreme Court of Ontario judge – is trying to determine if government officials covered up the abuse. In December of 1975, more than 20 boys were interviewed by the police, but no charges were laid.

Mr. Williams – who in 1967 entered the orphanage for 10 years – said his police statement had many omissions.

In particular, he said he told police that he had heard Mr. English tell Mr. Kenny during a heated argument that they were both homosexuals, but that accusation was not in the statement.

”That’s what I mean, it’s a load of garbage,” he said as he waved the statement in the air.

Before seeing his statement, Mr. Williams said he was amused when, during his 1975 interview, police asked him the whereabouts of Mr. Ralph and Mr. English.

”I said, ‘I figured you fellas had him,’ ” he said.

Mr. Williams created a storm of controversy three weeks ago when he testified that he saw Brother John Buckingham of Vancouver commit a gross indecency with a young student in St. John’s in 1975.

Mr. Buckingham – who has never been investigated by police or been the subject of a complaint – denied the charge. Later, lawyers complained that testimony should be limited to avoid such allegations.

On the stand yesterday, Mr. Williams was not asked about the denial. But he did agree with inquiry lawyer David Day that he had never complained to police about Mr. Buckingham.

Meanwhile, the inquiry – which is in its sixth week of testimony – is dealing with the question of how much of the testimony should be made public.

On Monday, lawyers for the CBC and The Globe and Mail considered challenging Mr. Hughes’s decision that the testimony of an unidentified witness not be made public.

Two days of private hearings for the witness, another former resident, ended yesterday morning.

Jack Harris, the man’s lawyer, has pleaded that his client is too emotionally fragile to face television cameras, although he did not object to his testimony being made public.

Gwen Smith, deputy managing editor of The Globe, said lawyers have started working on the issue.

”Yes, we want to intervene in this, and we worry when something is supposed to be a public inquiry and things go in camera,” she said.

Peter Jacobsen, lawyer for the newspaper, said The Globe and the St. John’s Telegram, a Newfoundland daily, may make a joint application to appear before Mr. Hughes to argue their position.

If he turns down the application, the only recourse is an application to the Newfoundland Supreme Court.

Mr. Jacobsen said all media interested in making an application before Mr. Hughes may be scheduled to appear on the same day, perhaps as soon as tomorrow.

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Abuse by brothers lasted 15 years former orphanage resident testifies ‘It hurt; I just remember crying’

The Toronto Star

18 October 1989

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. (CP) – A judicial inquiry has heard a chilling tale of unrelenting abuse from a former resident of the Mount Cashel orphanage.

Shane Earle, 23, who prompted the inquiry by going public with his complaints earlier this year, described how four Christian Brothers assaulted him over 15 years at the institution.

The abuse started on the day he arrived at Mount Cashel as a shy 6-year-old in 1973, he said yesterday.

Within hours, he said, he was molested by former orphanage superintendent Douglas Kenny in a dimly lit storage room in the basement.

On another occasion, Kenny – a member of the Roman Catholic lay order that runs the orphanage – tried to have anal sex with him, Earle said.

“I said it hurts,” said a shaking Earle, stopping to put his fingers to eyes swollen with tears. “I started to cry and he rolled me off his body.”

Limit testimony

Earle, an unofficial spokesman for former residents, has already told his story to news media in Canada and the United States.

His detailed claims helped launch the judicial inquiry into why police didn’t lay charges in 1975 after they received complaints of abuse from Earle and 25 other boys.

Prior to Earle’s testimony, inquiry head Samuel Hughes dismissed a controversial motion by lawyers for the brothers. They wanted to limit the testimony of Earle and 19 other former residents to events outlined in statements they gave police in 1975.

“It would be quite wrong in my view to put any limitation on evidence at this time, or any time,” said the 72-year-old retired Ontario judge. “I think the public interest must be taken into account and any appearance of concealment should be avoided.”

Earle was subdued when he took the stand yesterday and struggled to retain his composure during over two hours of slow, painful testimony.

His most brutal beatings came from Brother Joseph Burke, who also showed him the most attention, he said. He recalled in graphic detail an assault on one occasion when Burke was tending to his chicken pox by applying lotion to his naked body.

‘Beating and beating’

“He asked me did it tickle,” said Earle, his voice wavering and dropping to a strained whisper, “and it hurt. I just remember crying.”

Earle said he fled from the orphanage to his mother’s residence with his older brother Billy in December, 1975, after Burke beat his bare buttocks with a belt for losing a library card.

“He kept beating and beating until I couldn’t feel it any more,” he said. When he had finished, Burke handed him a lollipop, he added.

A police investigation began when an orphanage worker, Chesley Riche, complained to the social services department about Earle’s beating. Earle returned to the orphanage months later after being told the abusive brothers had moved away.

Earle said Burke beat him and other boys with a hockey-stick blade that had Mr. Ouch written on one side and Mrs. Ouch on the other.

Yet, despite the assaults, Earle said he found it hard to hate Burke.

“Despite what he’d done to me, I took it as the loving and caring that I should have got at home,” said Earle, who was placed in the orphanage by his parents after they separated.

‘Afraid to to tell’

Earle said he was also assaulted by Brother Edward English, Brother Allan Ralph and two unidentified lay people – a swimming instructor and a regular visitor to the orphanage.

“I was afraid to tell anyone because you didn’t know who was who in the orphanage,” he said. “If another brother heard you discuss it you’d get a beating.”

The four brothers named by Earle are among eight brothers and former brothers who have been charged with abusing boys in the 1970s.

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Forced into sex acts from the age of six, man tells hearing

The Toronto Globe and Mail

18 October 1989

Kevin Cox

ST. JOHN’S — BY KEVIN COX The Globe and Mail ST. JOHN’S A former resident of the Mount Cashel orphanage wept yesterday as he described how five Christian Brothers , including one he considered a close friend, forced him to engage in homosexual acts.

An emotional Shane Earle told a royal commission that he was first attacked when he was 6 during his first day at school at the Newfoundland orphanage, run by the Roman Catholic lay order.

Mr. Earle, now 23, said that in April, 1973, he was being fitted for new clothing by Brother Douglas Kenny, then superintendent of the orphanage. ”He had me naked down to my underwear, and when he was putting the clothes on me he was feeling up my body and squeezing me against his.”

He said that on another occasion Mr. Kenny undressed him in a field near St. John’s, jumped on top of him and began sexually assaulting him.

Mr. Earle, who said he was the smallest boy in his class, testified that he was regularly fondled at night by Brother Edward English. ”He came to my bed and he put his hands down my pajama pants and started playing with my enitals,” he said.

He said Mr. English also told boys to scratch the Brother’s head and back and then fondle his genitals.

Mr. Earle, who was the first person to complain to police about abuse at the orphanage and was instrumental in having a police investigation of the case reopened this year, also gave graphic descriptions of abuse he said he suffered at the hands of Brother Allan Ralph and Brother Joseph Burke.

He said Mr. Ralph also fondled him at night and rubbed his buttocks and treated him more roughly than Mr. English.

Mr. Earle’s most moving testimony involved Brother Joseph Burke, a man Mr. Earle considered ‘very gentle, very kind.”

”I think . . . the first bit of warmth I got in the building was from him. We became very good friends,” Mr. Earle said, adding that Mr. Burke arrived at the orphanage a few months after the boy was admitted to the institution when his parents separated.

Mr. Earle said he considered Mr. Burke to be like a father to him. But he said he soon found out that Mr. Burke was doing the same kind of fondling in which the other Brothers engaged.

”I didn’t take it as anything but some sort of love and some sort of care that he was showing to me in his own way. . . . I took it as the love and caring I should have had at home,” Mr. Earle said.

He added that before he met Mr. Burke he was a disturbed child who was constantly worried and had frequent nightmares.

But his good impression of Mr. Burke was apparently shattered on the occasion when Mr. Earle said the Brother sexually molested him after rubbing lotion on sores on the boy’s body caused by chicken pox.

”He asked me did it tickle, but it hurt. I just remember crying,” Mr. Earle said, weeping at the memory. ”He gave me a hug as if nothing happened and told me to reach my hand into a hat and pull out a lollipop and sent me on my way.”

He said there were frequent similar incidents with Mr. Burke. ”I felt very frightened, I was starting to become very scared of the man.

”I couldn’t understand why he was doing this to me, I thought he liked me,” Mr. Earle said. ”I confided to him so much as my guardian, I thought he loved me.”

He said another Christian Brother, whom he did not identify, used to gather some boys around and order them to stroke his body and fondle his genitals.

Mr. Earle said there was no one to talk to inside the orphanage about the abuse. ”It was something that was never discussed. You were afraid to discuss it, because if a Brother overheard you say it then you’d be punished for it. You could never speak out of line against a Brother.”

In December, 1975, Mr. Earle said, he suffered a severe beating from Mr. Burke and was taken out of the orphanage by his brother, Billy, and a volunteer maintenance man, Chesley Riche.

The subsequent investigation by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary of the alleged beating led to a probe that was abruptly halted by John Lawlor, chief of the police force, after several of the Brothers left Newfoundland.

The royal commission, headed by former Ontario Supreme Court judge Samuel Hughes, is examining the nature of the complaints made by the boys at the orphanage and why no criminal charges were laid and how various agencies responded to the complaints.

Since the police investigation was reopened earlier this year, eight Brothers and former Brothers, including Mr. Kenny, Mr. Ralph, Mr. English and Mr. Burke, have been charged with assaulting boys at the orphanage.

During the morning session yesterday, Francis O’Dea, a lawyer for the Christian Brothers, tried unsuccessfully to get the inquiry commissioner to limit the testimony of the former Mount Cashel residents to the statements they made to police in 1975.

Mr. O’Dea protested that the commission is not a criminal trial and could cause irreparable harm to the reputations of some individuals. ”To allow witnesses to get up and give one-sided evidence is . . . in my view incorrect and totally against our system.”

But the commissioner rejected the plea, saying he must hear all the evidence pertinent to the case. He said people who feel they have been damaged by testimony can appear before the commission to tell their side of the story.

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Orphan, 10, battled to stop sex abuses Nfld. inquiry told

The Toronto Star

28 September 1989

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. (CP) – After boys accused him of sexual abuse, a Christian Brother was told to pack his bags and never return to the Mount Cashel orphanage, a former resident says.

Johnny Williams told an inquiry yesterday how, at the age of 10, he battled to stop Brother Allan Ralph from fondling other boys in bed.

But Ralph was only part of the problem.

During his 10 years at the orphanage, Williams said he watched an endless series of sexual acts that culminated in a Roman Catholic priest – Father James Hickey – masturbating in front of him.

The first confrontation was in 1970 when Williams and nine other boys – sick of abuse by Ralph – marched into the office of director John Baron to complain, he said.

Ralph was summoned to the office. “Baron said to Ralph: ‘What are you, some kind of a pig?’ ” bellowed Williams, puffing his chest and assuming the stiff posture of Baron.

Returned later

Baron immediately ordered Ralph to move to the local St. Pat’s Monastery, a residence for the brothers, members of a Roman Catholic lay order. But Baron promised not to tell the monastery about Ralph’s assaults, he said.

Inquiry lawyer David Day quietly asked Williams what Ralph did as he left the office.

“Thissss,” hissed Williams, before demonstrating a broad, almost toothless smile. “But he had a lot more teeth than I did. ”

Ralph – broad-chested and over six feet tall – returned to the orphanage two years later when Brother Douglas Kenny took over as director.

Williams, the 29-year-old son of a local prison guard, told his story in an excited voice, contrasting with the sedate, 72-year-old inquiry head, Samuel Hughes, who looked down to a row of lawyers in an almost empty hearing room.

The inquiry wants to know why the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, a provincial police force, did not lay charges after investigating complaints at the orphanage in 1975.

Kenny and Ralph are among eight brothers and former brothers charged over the last 1 1/2 years with abusing orphanage boys in the ’70s.

Williams recounted how he and another altar boy watched Hickey masturbate after saying Mass one morning at the orphanage.

Jail term

Williams said he was never sexually abused.

Hickey, once a prominent religious leader, is currently serving a five-year jail term for sexually assaulting 20 altar boys in the St. John’s area over the past 20 years.

Meanwhile, an application from five Christian Brothers to have sexual assault charges against them dropped was dismissed yesterday by the Newfoundland Supreme Court.

Lawyers for the five – Ralph, Kenny, Edward English, Kevin Short and Edward French – argued that since the charges were based on alleged incidents dating back to the mid-1970s, they violated their right to a speedy trial.

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The Toronto Globe and Mail

28 September 1989

Kevin Cox

ST. JOHN’S –  A Christian Brother was ordered out of the Mount Cashel orphanage after complaints that he was sexually molesting boys in 1970.

But two years later, Brother Allan Ralph was leading a Boy Scout troop and shortly after that, he returned to teach at Mount Cashel when a new superintendent was appointed, former orphanage resident John Williams told a royal commission yesterday.

In his testimony, Mr. Williams described sexual acts some boys had to perform with the Christian Brothers who ran the orphanage. He also said Roman Catholic priest James Hickey once masturbated in front of him.

Mr. Williams said that, in 1970, he and nine other boys complained to then superintendent Brother John Barron that Brother Ralph was abusing them.

He testified that he had seen Brother Ralph in bed with a young boy, and that the man often fondled boys’ genitals when he blessed them after they went to bed.

Mr. Williams said that when the boys complained to Brother Barron, the superintendent did not ask for details, but confronted Brother Ralph in front of the boys and ordered him to leave Mount Cashel.

“Brother Barron said (to Brother Ralph), ‘I hear you are upstairs sexually molesting the boys and physically abusing the boys. Is that true?’ ” Mr. Williams testified.

“Brother Ralph didn’t answer him so he (Brother Barron) said, ‘What are you, some kind of pig? You are going to St. Patrick’s Monastery and I won’t tell the supervisor at St. Pat’s you have been sexually abusing the boys, I’ll just say you’ve been too rough on the boys.’ ” Brother Ralph taught at the St. Patrick’s Hall school in St. John’s for two years and Mr. Williams said he saw the brother leading the school’s Boy Scout troop.

When Douglas Kenny replaced Brother Barron as superintendent, Brother Ralph returned to Mount Cashel, Mr. Williams testified.

He said the boys who complained feared Brother Ralph would make them suffer for complaining in 1970, but the brother was not assigned to their dormitory and the allegations of sexual and physical abuse were not mentioned.

Mr. Williams said that in 1974 and 1975 he had several confrontations with Brother Edward English , whom he accused of sexually abusing young boys at the orphanage.

Mr. Williams said that one night in a study hall he threatened to throw an encyclopedia at Brother English after the brother told a young boy to put his hand inside the brother’s pants.

Later that night, Mr. Williams said, he saw Brother English with his hands inside a boy’s pajama pants after the lights had been turned off in the dormitory.

The next day, Mr. Williams said, he confronted Brother English. “I told (him) that if I ever caught him again with another boy, from now on, that I was going to literally do away with him.”

He said Brother English complained to Mr. Kenny and the superintendent tried to get him transferred to another dormitory in late 1974.

“I told him (Mr. Kenny) Brother English is always coming back crying like a baby to you because I’m interfering with his thrills, his little kinky thrills.”

He also described an incident involving Father James Hickey, who masturbated in front of Mr. Williams and another boy when they were changing their gowns after acting as altar boys at Mount Cashel. Father Hickey was convicted of 20 counts of sexually abusing young boys last January and is serving a five-year sentence in New Brunswick.

In 1975, according to Mr. Williams, Brother Ralph and Brother English left Mount Cashel after a police investigation at the orphanage was completed.

Mr. Williams said he told officers with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1979 that the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary’s investigation was a coverup.

“I told them Brothers English and Ralph were shipped out in 1975, that the CID (Criminal Investigation Division) took our complaints and didn’t act on them. It was more or less a coverup.”

The commission, led by former Supreme Court of Ontario Justice Samuel Hughes, is investigating allegations of abuse at the orphanage and why no charges were laid during the 1975 investigation.

When the investigation was reopened earlier this year, eight brothers and former brothers – including Brother Ralph, Brother English and Mr. Kenny – were charged with abusing boys at the orphanage.

Earlier yesterday, another former Mount Cashel resident, Dereck O’Brien, became too upset to continue his testimony.

Mr. O’Brien had been describing how he and his two brothers were frequently beaten and sent to a dark basement at their first foster home at Mount Pearl, near St. John’s.

He broke down when he tried to describe what he saw when he and his brothers moved to Mount Cashel in 1974.

“I would see grown-ups hit little kids and I knew it was wrong. I had gone through that and I knew it wasn’t right,” he said, sobbing.

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`I was abused by every brother,’ ex-orphanage resident says

The Montreal Gazette

26 September 1989

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. (CP) – A former resident of the Mount Cashel orphanage said yesterday he was forced to endure lewd sexual assaults and beatings from the Christian Brothers who ran the 90- year-old institution.

“Physically I was abused by, I guess, every brother that ever went into the orphanage at that time,” Robert Connors told a judicial inquiry into sexual abuse.

The inquiry, headed by retired Ontario judge Samuel Hughes, is investigating why a 1975 police investigation into complaints of abuse at the local orphanage didn’t result in charges.

In forceful, detailed testimony, the 25-year-old said Brother Allan Ralph fondled him almost every night as he lay in bed.

“Sometimes I would turn over and he’d start rubbing my butt,” said the dark-haired Connors, neatly dressed in a blue sports coat.

“There were even nights I would pretend to be asleep – and he would still do it.”

In the shower, Brother Edward English would dry his genitals with a towel, Connors said.

At the orphanage’s swimming pool, Connors said he would be assaulted by Brother Douglas Kenny, a former orphanage director.

“He (Kenny) would put me on his knee and would slip his tongue into my mouth and get me to bite his tongue,” said Connors, who now resides in Kitchener, Ont.

More assaults allegedly occurred at summer camps.

Connors said Brother Harold Thorne would beat him on the hands and buttocks with the handle of a wooden mallet used to erect tents.

Connors’s father allowed his seven children to become wards of the Social Services Department after their mother died in 1971.

Soon after, Connors and his two younger brothers were placed in the orphanage.

In September 1975, Connors and another former resident, Billy Earle, fled to Earle’s father.

The next day, they complained of physical and sexual abuse to Social Services but nothing was done, said Connors.

After laying the complaint, Connors went back to the orphanage, where he remained until 1984.

“I didn’t leave (the orphanage) because I was scared,” said Connors. “I didn’t know who to turn to.

Connors was the first former resident to tell the 2-week-old inquiry about his alleged sexual assaults. Previous witnesses have described their physical beatings or assaults on other boys.

Eight brothers and former brothers have recently been charged with sexually molesting boys at the orphanage in the 1970s – including Kenny, Ralph and English.

Later yesterday, the inquiry learned that the Social Services Department treated complaints from Mount Cashel differently than complaints from private homes.

Sharon Callaghan, who in 1975 was supervisor of the department’s St. John’s office, said her social workers kept their hands off Mount Cashel.

Complaints from the orphanage were forwarded to the provincial director of child welfare, and social workers made no further followup.

“That was an arrangement worked out between senior officials of the department and the operators of the facility (orphanage),” said Callaghan.

“The social-worker staff … would have been very much intimidated by attempting to assault the religious structure that would have been in place.”

Despite the Connors complaint, Callaghan said she wasn’t troubled about placing boys in the orphanage. But she did feel better when a committee was set up in late 1975 made up of government and orphanage officials.

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Sex-abuse case snared in difficult legal web

The Edmonton Journal

25 July 1989

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. — Preliminary hearings for four Christian Brothers charged with sexually abusing boys at a local orphanage have become entangled in a sticky legal web.

Lawyers for the men — two from Ontario and two from British Columbia — said Monday they want the hearings delayed until the fall while they ask the court to quash all charges.

A spokesman for the Justice Department said the Crown will reluctantly agree to the postponements when they are requested in court.

“It’s not an unusual request,” said deputy Attorney General James Thistle. “If they request a postponement with good cause, they most likely will be given it, even over our objections.”

By agreeing to the delay, the provincial government will avoid the cost of flying witnesses into Newfoundland only to have the case adjourned, he said.

The four accused are among eight brothers and former brothers charged with abusing boys at the Mount Cashel orphanage during the 1970s. The orphanage is a home for disadvantaged boys operated by the brothers, a Roman Catholic lay order.

The first hearing, scheduled for today in Newfoundland Supreme Court, is for Edward Patrick English, 40, of Mono Mills, Ont. He is charged with five counts of indecent assault and one count of assault causing bodily harm.

Gerry O’Brien, lawyer for two of the men, said all charges should be dropped because of an unreasonable delay in the case — a delay he thinks violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In Goose Bay, meanwhile, another former Roman Catholic priest from Newfoundland has been charged with sexually abusing boys.

Leonard Paradis, 41, was charged Monday in provincial court with five counts of sexual assault.

A RCMP spokesman said the offences are alleged to have occurred between 1977 and 1983 while Paradis was parish priest in the nearby Innu village of Sheshatsheit.

Paradis was released on a $1,000 bond and will reappear in court Sept. 6 for election and plea.

That brings to 18 the number of priests, former priests and other members of the Catholic community that have been charged or convicted of sexually abusing boys over the past year and a half.

In the mid-1970s, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary investigated complaints of sex abuse at the St. John’s orphanage but did not lay charges because church officials allegedly agreed to move the men out of Newfoundland.

“We feel that if evidence was sufficient back 14 or 15 years ago, then the charges should have been laid at that time,” said O’Brien.

The move has angered several former orphanage residents.

“It’s not our fault that it went so long before it went to the courts. We gave the matter to the police in 1976,” said Greg Connors, now living in Ontario. “Once again we are getting royally screwed.”

Toronto lawyer Harry Kopyto, who represents eight former residents who are suing the brothers, said the postponements will cause more anguish.

“This delay is inconceivably difficult for these victims . . . once again the case is not being dealt with in the normal fashion,” said Kopyto.

O’Brien said he believes a judicial inquiry into an alleged cover up at the orphanage could hurt his clients’ chances of a fair trial.

Samuel Hughes, a retired Ontario judge, began investigating allegations of sexual abuse at Mount Cashel last month.

David Day, co-counsel for the inquiry, said the commission has procedures to deal with sensitive evidence, such as in-camera sessions.

“We will make every possible effort to respect the public interest to know what happened, and the legal and constitutional rights of the accused to a fair trial,” said Day.

The three other brothers scheduled to face preliminary inquiries over the next two weeks are: Allan Ralph, 44, of Mono Mills, Edward French, 57, of Vancouver and Kevin Short, 38, of Burnaby, B.C.

Preliminary inquiries for four other brothers and former brothers are scheduled for later this year, but their lawyers may follow a similar strategy.

The charges are part of a large scandal that has seen 18 priests, brothers and other members of Catholic community charged or convicted of sexually abusing boys.

Two church inquiries in St. John’s and Corner Brook, Nfld., are currently investigating the scandal.

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Two Christian Brothers charged with sex crimes in St. John’s

The Montreal Gazette

18 April 1989

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. (CP) – Two more members of Newfoundland’s Roman Catholic community have been charged with sex crimes and police said an unspecified number of others are to be charged today.

Allan Ralph, 44, and Edward Patrick English, 40, appeared in court yesterday, each charged with five counts of indecent assault against young boys. English also faces a charge of assault causing bodily harm.

The two men are members of a lay order called the Christian Brothers, a Catholic teaching order whose members take vows of chastity but are not priests.

The charges are related to alleged incidents that occurred when they used to work at the Mount Cashel Orphanage in St. John’s.

The provincial government has ordered a public inquiry into allegations that police and social workers covered up child and sexual abuse at the orphange during the mid-1970s.

Neither man entered a plea yesterday. They chose trial in Newfoundland Supreme Court and were released on an undertaking to appear in court.

English will be back in court on July 25 for a preliminary hearing and Ralph will appear the following day.

Ralph and English were arrested in Orangeville, Ont., where they were working with a church congregation, and returned to Newfoundland for trial.

Supt. Len Power of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said an investigation is continuing into the allegations of abuse at the orphanage.

Five priests, two former priests and another Christian Brother have already been charged or convicted of other sex crimes, rocking the Newfoundland Roman Catholic community.

 

1 Response to Ralph: Brother Allan Ralph

  1. Martin Coady says:

    I spent 8 years in the orphanage myself. I’m glad to see some justice done. There should have been more brothers charged.

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