VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT – Jerry Boyle vs. Marshall
[Note from Sylvia: The Crown asked Jerry to remove some words from his VIS. I have opted to include the words which were replaced at delivery. The words which were removed are crossed out: the words used by Jerry to replace them are highlighted in red.]
It is extremely difficult to measure the emotional and financial impact that the crime had on my life but I will attempt to put into words all that I attribute to the exposure I had to Fr. Marshall. It started at the very first experience of his assault on me. I was terrified and in total shock. I could not understand just what he was doing. He was a priest, a Catholic priest that we were taught to respect and fear as the representative of Christ Himself. I was young and certainly not mature physically. He would come after me in a locked classroom, the shower and of course, in his bedroom. He referred to his assaults as “WORKOUTS”.
Catholicism, at that time, was designed to bring fear into the minds of its followers in order to instil their beliefs. We were taught that if you failed to follow you would burn in Hell for eternity. And so……… I obeyed the rules and did what I was told!
I felt TERRORIZED. I knew I couldn’t tell anyone. I couldn’t tell my friends. They would not believe me or laugh at me and I didn’t know where to start. I would be too embarrassed to say anything. I could not tell my parents, they had already been befriended by Fr. Marshall and wouldn’t believe me over a Catholic priest. After all, I had an uncle a priest and an aunt a nun. They were totally adored by my parents the most avid Catholics that ever were. I was an altar boy and member of the church choir.
I could not go to other priests at Assumption. There were at least two of them that saw the assaults in the shower room, another in Marshall’s room when he walked in, saw what was being done to me and walked away. They already knew about his crimes. After the second of many assaults, I went to Monsignor Dillon the Sacred Heart parish pastor and told him in the confessional, where I was somewhat hidden by a screen, what I had experienced. He was outraged and yelled “WHAT DID YOU DO? – STOP DOING IT! He said it was “ YOUR FAULT”!! I ran out of the confessional and never went back into a confessional to this day. So, it removed my trust in priests forever and access to the forgiveness that was provided by that Sacrament!
I tried to live with the personal sexual assaults and, without success, try to put my mind elsewhere while they were being committed by Marshall over the two year period. Even my prayers went unanswered. I am not trying to reintroduce the events of the crime, I am only attempting to relate to you the feelings I had experienced. I did my best to hide every time I saw him coming near me. I thought I was the only one being terrorized. That didn’t work. He found me. I even quit showering so he might find me repulsive. He made note of it but he didn’t stop. During exams at Assumption, many of us used to walk on the Ambassador bridge while on our extended breaks. I looked down and I seriously considered suicide on more than one occasion. After all, Monsignor Dillon my pastor said it was my fault. I recalled my Catholic upbringing that said I would burn in Hell for eternity if I did take my own life.
There was one other boy who heard Marshall come in to the class and tell me I was to meet him in his room immediately after class. The young man asked if I was going for a “workout”. I knew then I was not the only victim. I told him I didn’t know what he was talking about and he dropped the conversation. I hope he has come forward with charges.
I thought the best alternative was to leave the school and go elsewhere where there were no priests. I knew my parents would not let me change schools so I thought if I failed grade eleven they would maybe let me change. So I did fail on purpose and they did let me move to Corpus Christie High School to continue my education. So, it cost me at least one year of my life to get away!
It was difficult to force myself to fail of grade eleven. From then on, My study habits had been seriously interrupted by the nightmares. The nightmares started on the night of the first exposure to Fr. Marshall’s assault and continue to this day. I wake up swinging my fists as if he was standing in front of me and I could finally take my revenge. I eventually failed math in grade twelve and did not graduate. Marshall taught math and every time I took my books out to study for my algebra, I was haunted by his image. At this point, I had no chance of getting into university and went into the construction trade as a Steamfitter apprentice. I was successful in attaining my trade qualifications and eventually my Master License as in the trade. Years later, I went back and made up the course I needed for equivalency. I was even certified as an instructor through Purdue University in the early 70s.
As I have mentioned, the nightmares have continued and will likely never end. I found that alcohol had the cure I thought might be helpful.
If I got “high” enough I didn’t experience the nightmares. At least if I did I didn’t remember them. It has taken its toll on my personal relationships to the point where without alcohol, intimacy with my spouse was not possible. I have been divorced twice. How much of it was caused by my nightmares, my inability for intimacy, I don’t really know. My first wife found another that was best suited for her needs. I am not sure of the second wife’s motivation.
I don’t blame either one. I didn’t have much to offer. My one son has not spoken to me in more than five years. He still considers it my fault for leaving his mother, I did not correct him.
I still must sleep alone. When you wake up swinging from a nightmare, no one wants to be near you.
At one point, back in the 1980s, I had a friend that noticed my strange behaviour and asked what was bothering me. I did tell her it was an old experience that has haunted me all my life and it was something I could not discuss.
She suggested that perhaps I should speak to a friend of hers, a therapist (psychiatrist) that may be of benefit.
I made an appointment and attended two sessions but I was never able to bring up my problem. I found no resolve there at all. I believe her office was on Victoria in downtown Windsor.
I have since remarried and have been for the last twenty years. The intimacy problem is still there but I do have an understanding spouse….. I think. She is the first person I was able to speak to about my experiences with Marshall.
What did it cost me emotionally? How do I measure that? Two failed marriages, over fifty-five years of nightmares, thoughts of suicide, education opportunities cut short and over use of alcohol.
Had I been able to further my education, what would it have done for me financially, to allow me to maintain a relationship and given me as far as sense of fulfillment of my life potential? What would I have been able to contribute to society?
It did cost me two marriages and the financial consequences of that. A professional career was unattainable. I really don’t know how to put a number on my potential financial losses. My emotional losses have been life-long. From fifteen years old to seventy is a very long time.
Marshall, there were several priests that saw or were told about what you were doing to me. Why didn’t they stop you? If they couldn’t, why didn’t they find someone who could . If your crimes had ended then, most of the victims in this courtroom would have been spared the terror you put me through!!