25 February 1997
PETERBOROUGH, Ont. (CP)
A priest who pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting two boys more than 15 years ago says he was a victim of abuse by one of the most notorious sexual predators in the Catholic Church in Canada.
Father Doug Stamp, 45, pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of indecent assault on the boys when he was assistant pastor at St. Alphonsus Church from 1979 to 1983.
Stamp stood before Judge Sam Murphy in Ontario Court General Division and apologized for the assaults, which happened in 1979 through 1981.
Stamp was charged after one of the victims saw him on a CBC program in 1995.
During the program, Stamp was defending the Church’s position during the Mount Cashel affair, in which members of the Christian Brothers were convicted of sexually assaulting boys under their care at the Newfoundland orphanage.
The victim who recognized him on television called Stamp, who at the time was chancellor of the archdiocese of St. John’s. He has since resigned that position.
In Monday’s revelation, Toronto defence lawyer Mary Hall told the court that Stamp admitted to being sexually assaulted three times in 1969 to 1970 while he was a teenager in Newfoundland.
Hall said Stamp’s attacker was the late Rev. Jim Hickey, who was convicted of 55 sex charges on boys before he died in 1992. Hickey was the local priest in St. John’s and the first Catholic official in Newfoundland to be convicted of abusing boys.
Hall said she offered Stamp’s claims of sexual abuse as a partial excuse for his assaults on the boys.
Crown attorney Brian Gilkinson asked that Stamp be jailed for six to nine months. Hall requested he get a non-custodial sentence, in which jail time would be served in a community.