The Brockville Recorder
Monday, May 28, 2018 6:11:11 EDT PM
A former church organist and youth leader, who used his position of authority in the Catholic Church to sexually abuse a 15-year-old boy, was sentenced to three years in prison on Monday.
Brian Joseph Lucy, 70, of Gananoque, started abusing the altar boy and member of the Junior Knights youth group while organist of St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church and leader of the youth group, the court heard.
Starting in the early 1990s, the abuse, which included oral, anal and group sex, occurred more than 100 times before the victim turned 18, often two or three times a week and sometimes lasting four to five hours, according to a statement of facts read into the record by Crown Attorney Jacqueline Masse. The encounters continued until the victim was in his early 20s.
In an impact statement to the court, the victim, who can’t be identified because of a court order, called Lucy a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” who used his friendship with his family and his position with the church to cause the boy to trust him. The youth, in Grade 9 when it started, was a troubled teen when Lucy began taking him to his house, plying him with alcohol and persuading him to engage in the sex acts, the victim said.
The victim said the encounters have emotionally scarred him for life and “hurt me more than anyone will ever know.”
He told the court that he has suffered years of depression, night sweats, anxiety attacks and panic that he now controls with medication – up to 10 pills a day.
The victim said he has trouble trusting people and that he never wanted to have children for fear that they might be abused, too. This caused him problems with relationships during his adult life, he said.
The victim’s aunt, who knew Lucy from Gananoque, called him a “sanctimonious predator,” who deserved to be locked away forever.
In her victim impact statement, the victim’s mother called Lucy “evil and sick,” accusing him of “hiding behind the Catholic church for years.”
Lucy apologized to the victim for his actions.
“I am truly sorry for what happened,” he said.
Lucy said that therapy and counselling in prison had led him to realize the damage that his actions had done to the victims.
He is now in Joyceville Penitentiary serving a five-year sentence for similar crimes against two other Gananoque youths in the late 1970s and early 1980s. After reading news accounts of Lucy’s sentencing in 2015, the latest victim gathered the resolve to approach the Gananoque Police with his 27-year-old story.
Prosecutor Masse argued that Lucy deserved at least four years of additional time for the latest conviction, given the boy’s age at the time, the years of abuse, the seriousness of the sex acts and the impact that it had on the victim.
She noted that Lucy had pleaded guilty, sparing the victim the trauma of a trial, but she said the guilty plea had only come after a preliminary hearing at which the victim testified.
Defence lawyer Mark MacDonald urged a sentence of two and a half years, citing Lucy’s guilty plea, the fact that his client is 70 and that he has some health issues.
Justice John Johnston of the Ontario Superior Court said his three-year sentence reflects the seriousness of the crime and society’s revulsion at crimes against children.
“If we can’t protect children who can we protect?” he asked.
The judge said he also took into account the fact that Lucy was in a position of trust over the boy and the nature of the crimes.
However, Lucy’s willingness to plead guilty weighed in his favour, Johnston added.