The Saskatoon Star Phoenix
15 October 2013
Paul Leroux (in this 1970 photograph) faces 14 charges of indecent assault and three charges of committing gross indecency between 1959 and 1967 at the Beauval Indian Residential School.
Photograph by: Postmedia News , file photo
BATTLEFORD — The trial of a former dormitory supervisor charged with molesting boys under his care opened with a look at the operations of the residential school where he worked in northern Saskatchewan.
Paul Leroux, 73, faces 14 charges of indecent assault and three charges of committing gross indecency between 1959 and 1967 at the Beauval Indian Residential School. His three-week trial began Tuesday in Battleford Court of Queen’s Bench.
Leroux, who is representing himself at the trial, pleaded not guilty to each of the 17 charges. The identities of the 14 complainants are protected by a publication ban. Students at the Beauval Indian Residential School came from across northwest Saskatchewan.
A video played during the first hour of the trial showed smiling children playing broomball, attending classes, celebrating Christmas, eating meals and getting ready to go to sleep in their dorm rooms — a stark contrast to the dark stories expected to be heard when the complainants begin their testimony today.
The charges of indecent assault and gross indecency involve sexual touching and sexual activity.
In a brief interview with a reporter, Leroux called the charges and the trial “an incredible, unprecedented abuse of process.”
“I think it’s unbelievable I have to come to Saskatchewan at great cost to defend false charges,” he said.
Leroux previously served a 10-year prison term after he was convicted of molesting boys at a residential school in the Northwest Territories between 1967 and 1979.
On Tuesday in Battleford, others who worked at the school were the first to testify.
Dennis Chicoine, now a retiree living in Edmonton, said he was about 19 when he travelled to northern Saskatchewan in 1960 to begin working at the Beauval Indian Residential School after Leroux recruited him from their hometown in Quebec.
Chicoine told court he didn’t witness any sexual assaults. He said the only physical discipline he ever saw was one instance of a boy getting the strap after he tried to run away.
Former supervisor on trial for residential school abuse
NORTH BATTLEFORD, Sask. – A former dormitory supervisor charged with abusing boys at a northern Saskatchewan residential school is representing himself at his trial.
Paul Leroux, who is 72, has pleaded not guilty to indecent assault involving about a dozen former students of Beauval Indian Residential School for seven years during the 1960s.
His trial, which started Tuesday, is being heard by judge alone in Court of Queen’s Bench in North Battleford.
Edward Mihalicz (Mah-hall-its), who was a former teacher at the school form 1963 to 1985, testified he was unaware of any students being molested.
Mihalicz also said physical punishment was rarely used, except the strap in rare cases.
A video was shown in court of what life was like at the residential school during the 1960s — students’ hockey games, outings to the lake, and get-togethers attended by staff.
Leroux was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1998 for abusing 14 boys and young men at Grollier Hall, a residential school in Inuvik run by the Roman Catholic Church.
Those convictions were for gross indecency, indecent assault and attempted buggery between 1967 and 1979.
Leroux worked as an activities supervisor and guidance counsellor at Grollier.
(CJNB, The Canadian Press)