Charles Emmanuel Tonna
Maltese priest, served in the Archdiocese of Toronto. Date of ordination unknown. 1998 convicted of sexually abusing a comatose 71-year-old woman in a hospital bed – sentenced to house arrest.
Father Tonna`s name does not appear in any of the Canadian Catholic Church Directories of the 90`s, nor in the mid 80`s. When he came to Canada is unknown. He was supposed to return to his native Malta after completing his conditional sentence.
Archbishops of Archdiocese of Toronto during the 90`s: Aloysius Matthew Ambrozic (17 March 1990 – – 16 December 2006 )
Auxiliary bishops of Archdiocese of Toronto during the 90s: Michael Pearse Lacey (03 May 1979 – 31 May 1993); Robert Bell Clune (03 May 1979 to 27 December 1995); Leonard James Wall (03 May 1979 — 25 February 1992); John Stephen Knight (27 Apr 1992 – 9 Apr 2000); Anthony Giroux Meagher † (30 April 1997 – 27 Apr il2002) Nicola de Angelis, C.F.I.C. (Auxiliary Bishop: 27 April 1992 to 28 December 2002)
1996: assisting at St. Paul the Apostle Roman Catholic Church, Toronto, Ontario (M)
Priest sentenced for assault
The Toronto Globe and Mail
02 May 1998
A Roman Catholic priest who sexually assaulted an elderly woman while she lay in a catatonic state on a hospital bed was given a nine-month conditional sentence Thursday. Charles Tonna, 62, had “done nothing but good work” over his 36 years as a priest, his lawyer, Fred Shanahan, told Mr. Justice Eugene Ewaschuk of the Ontario Court’s General Division. Mr. Tonna has been stripped of his priestly duties at Toronto’s St. Paul the Apostle church and lives a lonely and solitary life within its walls. On Sept. 8, 1996, he entered the room of a “completely vulnerable” 72-year-old woman at St. Joseph’s Hospital and sexually assaulted her. The woman was not aware of the attack, which lasted only a few seconds, Judge Ewaschuk said.
Priest, 62, spared jail for molesting patient
The Toronto Star
01 May 1998
A 62-year-old Toronto priest has been spared a jail term for the “outrageous and scandalous” crime of molesting a comatose woman in a hospital bed.
Mr. Justice Eugene Ewaschuk yesterday placed Father Charles Emanuel Tonna under virtual house arrest and ordered him to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for the next nine months.
Otherwise, the Ontario Court, general division judge warned, Tonna will be brought back to court and sent to jail.
Judges are permitted to impose so-called conditional or non- custodial sentences if the offender is not considered a danger to the community.
In Tonna‘s case, Ewaschuk said, he is in poor health, he has been “stripped of his priestly duties,” he’s shamed and disgraced himself and his church and his life is virtually ruined.
Tonna was found guilty of sexual assault for molesting a 72-year- old woman in the chronic-care ward of St. Joseph’s Health Centre on The Queensway on Sept. 8, 1996.
Prosecutor Angela Jeffrey said the victim suffers from an advanced state of dementia and “may not have been aware of what was done to her.”
A nurse testified she saw Tonna touching the woman’s vagina and demanded to know what he was doing.
He replied that he was simply visiting patients in the hospital.
“That’s not visiting,” the nurse said she told him.
Defence counsel Fred Shanahan said after a lifetime of service, Tonna had committed “a most ruinous act.”
He said after Tonna completes his conditional sentence his church will return him to his native Malta.
Maltese priest faces charges after woman sexually assaulted
The Saskatoon Star Phoenix
10 September 1996
TORONTO (CP) — A Roman Catholic priest charged with sexually assaulting an elderly woman in her hospital bed is in Canada on a visitor’s permit from Malta, police said Monday.
The 72-year-old woman, who cannot walk or talk and suffers from senile dementia, was in her room at St. Joseph’s Health Centre on Sunday night when a man went in, police said.
A nurse walked into the room and found the man removing the woman’s clothes.
Charles Emanuel Tonna, 60, of Toronto, has been charged with sexual assault.
Tonna, a priest with St. Paul the Apostle Church, was released on $5,000 bail after pleading not guilty Monday.
He was also ordered to stay away from hospitals, old age residences and chronic care facilities and not to leave his residence at St. Paul’s without supervision.
“Anyone who is dressed as a priest in a hospital is in a position of trust and this is of great concern to the hospital staff and to us,” said Sgt. Rob Cooper of Toronto police.
Toronto: Woman attacked, priest charged
The Kingston Whig – Standard (Kingston, Ontario)
10 September 1996
Police have charged a Roman Catholic priest with sexually assaulting an elderly woman in her hospital bed. The 72-year-old woman, who cannot walk or talk, was in her room at St. Joseph’s Health Centre on Sunday night when a man went in, police said. A nurse walked into the room and found the man removing the woman’s clothes. Charles Emanuel Tonna, 60, of Toronto, has been charged with sexual assault. Tonna is a priest with St. Paul the Apostle Church.