Clair S. Richard
Priest, Diocese of Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Ordained 1961. Twin brother of convicted molester Father Claude Richard. Sent to Southdown for treatment of alcoholism – claims that was not a problem he had and that he should have been sent for for “sexual deviation.” 1992 CONVICTED on four counts of indecent assault on a young boy. Sentenced to four years on each count – to run concurrently.
THIS PAGE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION
20 July 1992: R. v. Richards (Sentencing)
19 September 2017: Funeral at St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
14 September 2017: DIED at Ocean View Manor in Easter Passage. The following clip is taken from “In Memoriam 2015-2917” on the Antigonish Diocese website:
1996: new charges
1992: Sentenced to four years on each count – to run concurrently (L)
17 December 1991: Preliminary Hearing (M)
June 1991: charged
1985-86: Pastor, St. Margaret`s, Marion Bridge and Sacred Heart Mission, Nova Scotia (CCCD)
1977: stroke – full recovery (L)
sex abuse transpired between the years 1977 and 1984 in Inverness County
four years at seminary in Ottawa (St. Paul`s
BA from St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, NS
Twin priests focus of legal action over sex abuse
Three men who claim they were sexually assaulted by priests decades ago are suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish.
In Halifax court documents filed late last week, William Muirhead, 49, of Stellarton, John Parsons, 62, of Bras d’Or and Myles Parsons, 63 of Nanaimo, B.C., all seek damages under $100,000 for assault and emotional harm.
The diocese has not yet filed a defence and none of the allegations have been proven in court.
However, each claim holds the diocese vicariously liable in negligence and assault.
According to the documents filed in Nova Scotia Supreme Court, twin brothers Clair and Claude Richard were parish priests at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church at Little Bras d’Or in the 1960s.
During the 1963 to 1964 hockey season, the priests, usually separately, would go to the Parsons’ home to watch Saturday night hockey, the documents allege. During those evenings, the priests would end up wrestling with the boys, the documents allege.
John Parsons alleges that the wrestling matches would end with one of the Richards pinning him down by kneeling on his chest, “towering over me with his privates in my face.”
Myles’s statement alleges that the priest “would be rubbing his privates all over us and his hand would be between my legs quite often.”
“I tried to avoid being home on Saturday evenings.”
During a school play at a Bras d’Or hall, Myles alleges that one of the priests grabbed him from behind while he was backstage and rubbed against his buttocks and tried to touch his “privates.”
Both brothers recalled separate incidents that involved a Volkswagen Beetle, the documents allege.
John states that he was hitchhiking home from skating in North Sydney when one of the twins picked him up. The priest showed him pornographic pictures and “made a move across my leg.”
“I told him to stop the car or I’d cut him with my skates,” the documents allege.
In late spring 1964, Myles said that one of the priests offered him a lift and they ended up parked on a dirt road near a field, the documents allege.
During the ride, the documents claim that the priest talked about how hard his job was and that he wanted some fun. The priest pulled the boy from the car and onto the ground, where he jumped on him, the documents allege.
Myles alleges that he fought the man off by biting him and crying and kicking.
The documents allege that Myles told his parents about the abuse, but they refused to believe him.
“They said I was going to burn in hell for saying those lies about the priest,” the documents allege.
Muirhead’s allegations involve Claude Richard.
Muirhead alleges he was was abused between 1972 and 1973 when he was an altar boy at Our Lady of Lourdes in Stellarton.
“Father Richard knelt down in front of me and put his hand inside my vestment and down the waist of my pants. He reached further into my briefs and fondled my penis, saying that he was making sure that my vestments were right.”
Muirhead also alleges that wrestling matches took place between the priest and the altar boys that involved Richard “rubbing himself and gyrating his hips up and down.”
The priest was rough and sometimes grabbed the boys’ penises, “squeezing really hard,” the documents allege.
The Richard twins have been convicted of multiple counts of sex charges against children in the care of the diocese.
The Richards were also named in the landmark $15-million class-action settlement reached in September 2009 for people victimized by clerical abuse in the diocese dating back to 1950.
Lawyer Hector J. MacIsaac, who has filed the three claims on behalf of the Parsons brothers and Muirhead could not be reached for comment Sunday.
Twin priests charged
Star – Phoenix [Saskatoon, Sask]
20 Dec 1996
HALIFAX (CP) — Twin Roman Catholic priests have been charged with indecently assaulting two males in North Sydney, N.S., almost 20 years ago.
Claude and Clair Richard are to be arraigned on four charges in February.
Claude Richard was the assistant parish priest at St. Joseph’s in North Sydney until 1978, while Clair worked as assistant priest at Sacred Heart in Sydney until 1977.
In 1991, the brothers were two of four priests of the Diocese of Antigonish charged with indecently assaulting altar boys.
Both have served jail terms and have been living in a monastery near Antigonish, N.S., since their release.
Church alters its defence in sex-abuse lawsuits; Didn’t mean to blame victims: spokesman
The Montreal Gazette
HALIFAX – The Antigonish diocese is backing away from a controversial defence against lawsuits that blames victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests for their problems.
A church spokesman said it will amend the defence, which attracted media attention from across Canada and criticism from Nova Scotia Catholics.
“The diocese, in order to resolve any ambiguity or misunderstanding, has made it clear . . . that it is in no way blaming the victims and will be making the required clarification in its pleadings,” the spokesman, who did not want to be named, told a Halifax newspaper.
He said a victim’s lawyer misinterpreted the statement that any damage or loss the men suffered is the result of their own “voluntary actions.”
Halifax lawyer John McKiggan, who represents James Davidson of New Glasgow, N.S., said last month he was “astonished that they would allege that a 12-year-old child volunteered to be abused.”
McKiggan said he’s satisfied with the amendments to the defence.
But he said that public pressure, not a misunderstanding, prompted them.
“I am pleased that after public attention was brought to the defence filed by the diocese, that they have now seen fit to request our agreement to remove that allegation,” McKiggan said.
The church spokesman “has indicated to me that he thinks we misinterpreted it and I disagreed,” he said.
“And that’s why we wanted the allegation removed.”
Four men who were sexually abused as boys by three priests in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s are suing the diocese and the priests.
Reverends James Mombourquette, 62, and Clair and Claude Richard, 59-year-old twins, have been convicted of several assaults against boys and have served prison terms.
They have not filed a defence against the lawsuits.
The diocese will be dropping a clause in its defence that says: “The defendant states that any activity between the plaintiff and the defendant (priest) occurred as a result of a consensual relationship between the parties or alternatively as a result of acts initiated by the plaintiff.”
Church blames victims for sexual abuse
Kingston Whig – Standard
25 Feb 1995
The Diocese of Antigonish in northern Nova Scotia is blaming three victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests for their problems.
In a defence against three lawsuits, the diocese says any damage the men suffered as boys is the result of their own “`voluntary actions.”
“If the plaintiff has suffered any loss or damage,” the defence statement said, it “was not caused by acts of the defendant, but rather was caused by voluntary actions of the plaintiff for which the defendant is not responsible.”
Since 1992, three priests of the Antigonish diocese have been convicted of sexual offences which occurred in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s against boys ranging in age from 10 to 17.
Reverends James Mombourquette, 62, and twins Clair and Claude Richard, 59, were sentenced to prison terms and are being sued by their victims.
In one defence, the diocese says any sexual activity between Rev. Clair Richard and an 11-year-old altar boy in the 1970s was the result of a consensual relationship or “acts initiated” by the boy.
The lawyer for a second man says blaming the victim is typical in negligence suits but is “inappropriate” in sexual abuse cases where the psychological damage is well documented.
“In a slip and fall, it’s common to say it’s your fault,” says John McKiggan, who represents James Davidson of New Glasgow, N.S.
“But in this particular case … I am just astonished that they would allege that a 12-year-old child volunteered to being abused.”
Davidson, 32, is suing the diocese and Rev. Claude Richard, who indecently assaulted him 20 years ago.
Davidson says the church knew or ought to have known Richard was sexually deviant and the diocese is “vicariously responsible” for the priest‘s actions.
Priest jailed for indecently assaulting altar boy
The Vancouver Sun
21 July 1992
PORT HOOD, N.S. – A Roman Catholic priest was sentenced Monday to four years in prison for indecently assaulting an altar boy.
Rev. Clair Richard, 56, of Grand Mira, N.S., was found guilty of four counts of indecent assault between 1977 and 1983. His victim was 11 years of age at the time of the first assault.
In handing down four concurrent four-year sentences, Justice Walter Goodfellow said there is nothing Richard could have done that is worse than violating a child’s sexual integrity.
He said Richard‘s actions were deliberate and planned without regard for the victim, who looked up to the priest as a god.
Goodfellow said there is no doubt Richard badly scarred the victim, who is now in his 20s and serving time in prison.
Richard will be back in court in Port Hood this fall to face trial on two other indecent-assault charges.
He is one of four Nova Scotia priests charged with sexually assaulting boys. Among the others is his twin brother, Rev. Claude Richard, who was found guilty earlier this month of indecent assault against a teenager about 25 years ago. He will be sentenced Oct. 30.
Priest to stand trial
The Vancouver Province
18 Dec 1991
PORT HOOD, N.S. – Enough evidence exists to send a Roman Catholic priest from Cape Breton to trial on sex charges, a judge ruled.
Rev. Clair Richard, 56, of Grand Mira is charged with six counts of indecent assault involving young boys.
Priest ruled not guilty of indecent assault
The Vancouver Sun
07 Nov 1991
ARICHAT, N.S. – A Roman Catholic priest has been acquitted on a charge of indecent assault.
A jury deliberated for about three hours Wednesday before finding Rev. Clair Richard, 56, not guilty of the offence that was alleged to have take place between Jan. 1, 1978, and Dec. 31, 1980.
At the time, Richard of Grand Mira had a friendly wrestling bout with a teenaged boy in a parish glebe house at the southeast Cape Breton community of D’Escouse.
The complainant, whose identity is protected by the court, testified Tuesday that Richard had an erection when he pinned him down.
“He started rotating his hips, like he was having sex, his groin area against mine.”
He said both he and Richard were fully clothed at the time.
Priest facing abuse charges picks judge, jury trial
The Montreal Gazette
20 August 1991
PORT HAWKESBURY, N.S. – A Cape Breton priest has elected trial by judge and jury on seven charges of abusing males.
Rev. Clair Richard, 56, of Grand Mira will face a preliminary hearing beginning Dec. 17. The offences allegedly occurred in Inverness County between 1977 and 1984.
Richard, who appeared in provincial court yesterday, is one of four Roman Catholic priests in Nova Scotia accused of sexually assaulting males.
Sex charges against N.S. priest
The Montreal Gazette
06 July 1991: D9.
SYDNEY, N.S. – A fourth Roman Catholic priest in Nova Scotia was charged yesterday with sex-related crimes. Rev. Daniel Doucet, 50, of Big Pond denied the allegations against him that led to four counts of indecent assault. The charges stem from incidents alleged to have occurred between January 1976 and December 1978 in Richmond County, N.S. A court appearance was scheduled for Aug. 21 in Arichat.
RCMP also laid another indecent assault charge against Rev. Clair Richard, 55, of Grand Mira South. He now faces three counts of sexual assault and nine of indecent assault.
Late last month, Richard, his twin brother, Rev. Claude Richard of Louisbourg, and Rev. James Mombourquette, 58, of Stellarton were arrested for alleged sex offences dating back to 1965. The four men are the latest in a series of sexual-abuse accusations against Roman Catholic priests or members of lay orders in various parts of Canada.
3 Cape Breton priests charged with 30 sexual-assault counts
The Montreal Gazette
25 June 1991: A8.
SYDNEY, N.S. – RCMP in Cape Breton have charged three Roman Catholic priests with a series of sexual offences against males between 1965 and last year.
The 30 charges include 23 of indecent assault, four of sexual assault and three of obstruction of justice. The ages of the alleged victims have not been released.
The investigation continued yesterday and more charges are possible, RCMP Supt. George Timko said.
Only one of the charged priests was named yesterday. Clair Richard, 65, of Grand Mira, south of Sydney, is charged with one count of sexual assault, between January 1985 and last December. He is to appear in court Aug. 14 in Sydney.
Timko said the alleged offences occurred in four counties: Cape Breton, Inverness and Richmond on Cape Breton Island, and Guysborough County on the adjoining mainland.
There will be court appearances in the towns of Guysborough on July 10, Arichat on Aug. 7 and Port Hood on Aug. 13.
The accusations against the priests are not related, he said.
Mounties interviewed a large number of people, but the investigation doesn’t centre on many people, Timko said.
The investigation has been going on for “quite some time.”
The charges are the latest in a series of recent sexual-abuse accusations against Roman Catholic priests or members of lay orders in various parts of Canada.
The biggest scandal has been in Newfoundland, where charges involving sexual abuse of boys have been filed against several current or former priests and members of the Christian Brothers teaching order.
Eight Christian Brothers or former brothers at the Mount Cashel orphanage in St. John’s, and one neighbor of the orphanage, have been charged since 1989 with sexually and physically abusing orphanage boys during the late 1970s.