Disgraced choir master faces new charges

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Kingston Whig Standard

15 April 2010

Posted By Rob Tripp

Kingston’s most notorious child molester, former Anglican choirmaster John Gallienne, has been arrested by Kingston Police and charged with another sex crime, the Whig-Standard has learned.

Gallienne, whose crimes stunned the community and split the church congregation, was arrested Wednesday in Ottawa and brought back to Kingston. He is scheduled to appear in court in Kingston Thursday afternoon, 20 years after he was exposed as a predator who abused more than a dozen young choirboys.

The allegations are the result of a complaint to police by a man who did not come forward two decades ago when Gallienne, then the beloved and brilliant organist and choirmaster at St. George’s Cathedral, was prosecuted for a 15-year reign of terror.

Gallienne, now 65, is being charged with indecent assault related to abuse of the man when he was a child between 1980 and 1982.

The newspaper also learned that Gallienne, like former junior hockey coach and sex predator Graham James, received a pardon from the National Parole Board.

The James case provoked a storm of public criticism that a notorious pedophile was able to secure a pardon. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has promised to seek reforms to the pardon process.

It’s not known when Gallienne received his pardon.

A person convicted of a serious crime must wait until five years after their sentence ends to seek a pardon.

In 1990, Gallienne pleaded guilty to 20 sex crimes against 13 young boys between 1975 and 1990. Two years later, he pleaded guilty to three more sex charges involving another boy.

In 1994, he was convicted of victimizing a choirboy at St. John’s Anglican church in Victoria, B.C. He was choirmaster there in the early 1970s.

He was sentenced to six years in prison. His sentence expired in October 1996.

Families say two Kingston victims for whom Gallienne was never prosecuted committed suicide.

In 1995, 11 former choirboys and 10 parents shared a $2.1 million settlement that ended a lawsuit against St. George’s Cathedral and the Anglican Diocese of Ontario.

Gallienne preyed on choirboys as young as eight. He abused them at his home, cottage, at the church and on his sailboat. He masturbated them and had them masturbate him. He had oral sex with them and sodomized some of them.

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 Notorious child molester charged again

Ottawa Sun

 Last Updated: April 14, 2010 8:14pm

 By ROB TRIPP, QMI Agency

 KINGSTON, Ont. – Kingston’s most notorious child molester, former Anglican choirmaster John Gallienne, has been arrested by Kingston Police and charged with another sex crime.

Gallienne, whose crimes stunned the community and split the church congregation, was arrested Wednesday in Ottawa and brought back to Kingston, Insp. Brian Begbie confirmed.

“It’s a historic case that goes back a number of years,” Begbie said.

Gallienne, now 65, has lived in Ottawa for some time.

He is scheduled to appear in court in Kingston Thursday afternoon, 20 years after he was exposed as a predator who abused more than a dozen young choirboys over a 15-year period.

The new allegation is the result of a complaint to police by a man who did not come forward two decades ago when Gallienne, then the beloved and brilliant organist and choirmaster at St. George’s Cathedral, was prosecuted.

Gallienne is being charged with indecent assault related to abuse of the man between 1980 and 1982, when he was a child.

QMI Agency has also learned that Gallienne, like former junior hockey coach and sex predator Graham James, has received a pardon from the National Parole Board.

“We can’t confirm or deny (that)” Begbie said. “Under Freedom of Information, people’s criminal records are protected, if they were to have one and if they were to have a pardon.” The James case provoked a storm of public criticism that a notorious pedophile was able to secure a pardon. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has promised to seek reforms to the pardon process.

“The Prime Minister has asked for explanation on how the National Parole Board can pardon someone who committed such horrific crimes that remain shocking to all Canadians,” Dimitri Soudas, a spokesman for the prime minister said about the James case.

It’s not known when Gallienne received his pardon. A person convicted of a serious crime must wait until five years after their sentence ends to seek a pardon.

A pardon does not erase a criminal record. In the case of someone convicted of a serious sex crime, the record is kept in a separate location but the name is flagged in the Canadian Police Information Centre, a database used by law enforcement agencies.

Details of the conviction would be discovered by a check that takes place if the person applies to work with children, the disabled or other vulnerable people, according to the National Parole Board.

A pardon can be revoked if a person is convicted of a new crime.

In 1990, Gallienne pleaded guilty to 20 sex crimes against 13 young boys between 1975 and 1990. Two years later, he pleaded guilty to three more sex charges involving another boy.

In 1994, he was convicted of victimizing a choirboy at St. John’s Anglican church in Victoria, B.C., where he was choirmaster in the early 1970s.

He was sentenced to six years in prison. His sentence expired in October, 1996, though he was freed from prison on early release in 1994.

Families say two Kingston victims for whom Gallienne was never prosecuted committed suicide.

In 1995, 11 former choirboys and 10 parents shared a $2.1 million settlement that ended a lawsuit against St. George’s Cathedral and the Anglican Diocese of Ontario.

Gallienne preyed on choirboys as young as eight years of age. He abused them at his home, at his cottage, at the church and on his sailboat. He masturbated them and had them masturbate him. He had oral sex with them and sodomized some of them.

The revelations about his deviance were horrifying for many who knew him and for the community because of the international reputation of the choirs at St. George’s, established in 1892.

The St. George’s congregation has historically been filled with professionals, including university professors and Kingston’s most literate citizens. Their children were Gallienne’s prey.

As the scandal unravelled in 1990, it was revealed that church leaders knew of improper conduct by Gallienne as far back as 1976.

Since his release from prison, Gallienne has not kept a low profile. He has been active in the congregation at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Ottawa. He was leader of the church’s recorder ensemble, according to a report on 2009 activities on the church’s website.

Gallienne also still appears in choir photos on the church website.

In 2004, the Kingston Whig-Standard reported that Gallienne was leading choirs and playing the organ at the Ottawa church, in contravention of a lifetime ban on such activities imposed by a former Anglican leader in Kingston.

He would not answer questions when confronted by a Whig-Standard reporter.

“I’d rather not, thank you very much,” he said, standing next to his wife, Lannie Mitchell. “Our time in Kingston was over and done a long time ago. We have a new life up here.” The bishop in Ottawa reviewed the ban after the newspaper’s report was published and granted Gallienne permission for “limited musical leadership.” When Gallienne was released from prison, the National Parole Board noted concern that he was a diagnosed pedophile.

“The Board is aware that pedophilia is a life-long sexual orientation,” the board wrote, in a decision.

“Your success depends entirely upon your level of motivation to avoid high risk situations, maintain recognition of your offence cycle, and employ appropriate relapse prevention strategies.”

rtripp@thewhig.com

2 Responses to Disgraced choir master faces new charges

  1. Loretta Merritt says:

    I am interested in speaking to anyone who brought civil lawsuits against the Cathedral.

  2. Geenda says:

    I see Mr. Gallienne is in the news again.. the Crown didn’t see fit this time to put him back in jail… however what I am really
    GOBSMACKED about is the fact he secured a PARDON in 2007 for these heinous crimes against children, how is that even possible?

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