Don Johnson was called to the Ontario bar 22 March 1968. He served first as acting Crown attorney and then Crown attorney in Cornwall Ontario from 1972 – 1991. He now works as a defence lawyer . Don Johnson has defended a number of the “alleged” paedophiles/molesters of Cornwall, some of whom he had had dealings with as Crown. And so, for example, when sex abuse allegations were brought against probation officer Nelson Barque in the early 80s the Crown (Don Johnson) allegedly concluded there was insufficient evidence to lay charges, and years later when Barque was charged he was represented by Don Johnson.
It was Don Johnson who allegedly told Constable Malloy back in January 21989 that Lalonde’s abuse of boys was consensual and there were no reasonable and probable grounds to lay charges (at least two of the boys had passed out and woke to find Lalonde molesting them). It was also Don Johnson who allegedly told Malloy that there were no groubnds to obtain a search warrant of Lalonde’s home for photos of nude persons. Years later Johnson was Lalonde’s defence lawyer.
Don Johnson testified at the Cornwall Public Inquiry in his capacity as a former Crown. Johnson took the stand on 06 and 07 January 2009.
A Little Background
|1968 – 1970: Assistant Crown attorney in Toronto, Ontario
1970 – 1972: Senior assistant Crown attorney in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
1972-1974: Acting Crown attorney, Cornwall, Ontario.
1974-1991: Crown attorney, Cornwall, Ontario.
1991 – present: criminal defence lawyer in Cornwall, Ontario. Sole practitioner.
20 February 2014: BLOG Had the job been done properly in early ’89
09 January 2009: BLOG Hard to take
06 January 2009: BLOG Not getting any easier
21 December 2008: BLOG Justice?
04 July 2008: BLOG Major victories
08 January 2005: BLOG Where does solicitor-client privilege fit into the equation?
07 January 2009: Transcript of Don Johnson testimony at the Cornwall Public Inquiry
06 January 2009: Transcript of Don Johnson testimony at the Cornwall Public Inquiry
A second look at new rules
Cornwall Standard Freeholder
15 March 2010
Posted By DAVID NESSETH
CORNWALL — Former local Crown attorney turned criminal defense lawyer Donald Johnson says to do away with ‘2 for 1′ sentencing credits is to rewrite the title of the famous Fyodor Dostoyevsky novel Crime and Punishment.
“Now they’ve got it out as Punishment and Crime,” Johnson said.
Last month, the federal government enacted legislation that scrapped judges’ discretion to grant two days of credit for each single day a defendant spent in jail awaiting trial or sentencing.
The Truth in Sentencing Act was granted royal assent on Oct. 21, 2009, but came into effect on Feb. 22. Now, judges will sentence at a one-one-ratio unless there are exceptional circumstances.
The maximum credit will be a ratio of 1.5-to-one, which will require supporting reasons for the decision.
Johnson believes the justice system will be in for a shock as the government pushes its “tough on crime” agenda.
“They’re going to legislate us to death with new rules and new laws,” Johnson said. “Eventually there won’t be much to criminal law left. It will all be cut and dried. It will be a fete de complete as far as I’m concerned. In the future, they’ll have passed enough of this law and order legislation that there won’t be any leeway or discretion left in the judges’ hands.”
Johnson said he was irked to read Cornwall Chief of Police Dan Parkinson’s comments on 2 for 1 sentencing in a recent Standard-Freeholder article.
Parkinson had said, “I’m absolutely in favour of it. I don’t know why the current system evolved the way it did, but I certainly think it’s a slap in the face to victims of crime. Regardless of the time already spent in jail, I think it cheapens the sentence.”
Johnson said people should check the “horrendous” conditions of local prisons before they make conclusions about the new Truth in Sentencing Act.
Many criminal defence lawyers in Ontario have argued that clients plead guilty to crimes they didn’t commit simply to avoid harsh conditions in overcrowded and under-staffed jails.
The new legislation, lawyers say, will mean overcrowding at prisons such as the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre, will only get worse.
“From this legislation and attitude there’s the view that if someone’s already in jail they’re guilty, and they shouldn’t get any benefit for time spent,” Johnson said. “What about the guys found not guilty? What kind of compensation does he or she get?”
When Justice Minister Rob Nicholson spoke to reporters in Ottawa last month abut the new legislation, he said it will “….give Canadians confidence that justice is being served.”
Local MP Guy Lauzon recently argued that prisoners were advising each other of the advantages of postponing court appearances to take advantage of the 2 for 1 credit.
Criminal defence lawyers, on the other hand, often point their fingers to backlogged courts and legal delays.
Johnson said defendants imprisoned for probation breaches may not deserve 2 for 1 credit, but “That should be left to the discretion of the judge as far as I’m concerned,” he said.
Time served in custody prior to February is still eligible to be recognized under the 2 for 1 credit.
Article ID# 2491322
Attorney General’s Office Was Overworked – Inquiry
Local News – AM 1220
January 08, 2009 — The Ministry of the Attorney General was overworked and understaffed when sex abuse allegations surfaced in Cornwall years ago according to a former Crown attorney. Don Johnson made the comments while testifying at the Cornwall Public Inquiry yesterday. He says he was basically a one man operation in the early 1970s and was in court five days a week. He says contact with the police was typically informal and Johnson says he envies today’s crown attorneys. (Hear audio clip below) Various witnesses including O.P.P. officers also testified about a lack of resources when it came to dealing with child sex abuse allegations in the past. Hearings continue this morning at 9:30am.
[Transcript of audio clip: “ they do have full Crown briefs. They do have — they obviously have more assistance than I had. They have I think at least seven or eight now in the Crown’s office in Cornwall. They’re all designated cases. “This case is yours.” Whereas when I was there, you walked into the room; that was your case, and that’s what you had to deal with.”]
Does anyone remember this?
Not guilty enough: judge: Justice acquits man he believes molested youth
By June 28, 2008
CORNWALL – Despite saying he was “pretty sure” Harvey Joseph Latour molested a boy 35 years ago, Justice Richard Byers acquitted the 70-year-old of indecent assault.
The two-day trial concluded Tuesday after testimony from the last two witnesses for the defence and closing arguments from both the crown and the defense.
The judge said he was particularly disturbed because the complainant had said he believed Latour might have had a tattoo, probably an anchor, on one of his forearms. During his testimony Latour had rolled up his sleeves, showing no tattoo and no indication of tattoo removal.
Crown counsel Alain Godin argued the complainant, who cannot be named, had testified honestly, frequently stating he simply couldn’t remember. He said the courts allow more discrepancies in the testimony of children and that should extend to testimony about events that occurred during childhood.
The evidence of Latour corroborated the evidence of the complainant on many points, Godin said.
In his summation, Byers said he did not expect the complainant, now 48, to remember the specifics of events that occurred 35 years ago when he was 13.
“I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. (the complainant) was an honest and a truthful witness.
“I was not impressed with Mr. Latour.” The defendant showed “selective memory,” the judge said.
Witness credibility and reliability is important, but it is not the only requirement, he added. Identity must be clearly established too.
Proof beyond reasonable doubt is the required standard, he said. “Probably guilty is not good enough,” said Byers.
“In my view the tattoo raises that doubt. Mr. (the complainant) just may have got the identity wrong. I don’t think he did, but he might have.”
In an emotional interview following the trial, the complainant said he is not satisfied with the judgment. “I just can’t find words for it.”
Godin had no comment.
Johnson said the verdict was right “if you believe in the criminal justice system, that the Crown has got to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
“Reasonable doubt doesn’t mean you didn’t do it. Reasonable doubt means they didn’t prove it.”
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Not enough to lay charge: cop
Cornwall Public Inquiry
Cornwall Standard Freeholder
24 April 2008
Posted By Trevor Pritchard
A Cornwall cop was “anxious” to lay abuse charges against a Cornwall teacher nearly two decades ago but couldn’t prove an alleged drunken liaison with a teen wasn’t consensual, the Cornwall Public Inquiry heard Wednesday.
“I was very anxious to charge (Marcel Lalonde),” said Const. Kevin Malloy, a former officer with the Cornwall Community Police Service’s youth bureau. “But I had nothing to go with.”
Malloy joined the youth bureau – the unit responsible for investigating historical sexual abuse allegations – in 1989.
Within a year, he was assigned two cases that have since come under close scrutiny at the inquiry: the allegations against Lalonde, and those made by Jeanette Antoine, a former ward of the Children’s Aid Society.
Malloy testified Wednesday that five days after starting his new position, he took a statement from a young man known only as C-57.
In the statement, C-57 told Malloy that when he was 16, Lalonde sexually abused him one night after a party involving members of a local drama group.
C-57 said he and Lalonde had been drinking when the teacher asked him to take off his clothes.
C-57 protested but agreed, after which Lalonde allegedly performed oral sex on him.
Malloy said C-57 also told him about a number of other young men who had suspicions about Lalonde, and that Lalonde allegedly kept pictures of naked young men in his home.
He testified he went to Crown Attorney Don Johnson to see if he could get a search warrant to look for the photos, but was told there wasn’t enough evidence to justify the request.
Malloy told commission counsel Karen Jones that he “would have charged the guy in a second” but couldn’t prove the alleged sex wasn’t consensual.
He said he put the file into “abeyance” and let it sit until other victims came forward.
Nearly a decade later, police would charge Lalonde with sexually abusing seven children. He was found guilty in 2000.
Dallas Lee, an attorney for The Victims Group, said it seemed unlikely that a search warrant would have been refused given the amount of evidence Malloy had collected.
Malloy had also taken a statement from C-58, another alleged victim of Lalonde’s, who was unwilling to press charges.
“It is inconceivable that you could have provided all that information we’ve talked about . . . to an experienced crown attorney and be told that there was nowhere else to go,” Lee said.
Malloy maintained the meeting took place and that Johnson said he didn’t have the grounds to grant the warrant.
Malloy also investigated Antoine’s claims that she was physically and sexually abused in the 1960s and 1970s while a ward of the CAS. Antoine testified at the inquiry last June that she went to police in 1989 with her allegations against Brian Keough, her caseworker, but was told her stories were “too far-fetched” and wouldn’t result in any charges.
On Wednesday, Malloy offered a slightly different interpretation. He said he had tried to get a statement from Antoine for weeks before Antoine showed up unannounced in February 1990.
Malloy testified he found Antoine’s story “helter-skelter” and was confused by the fact that she only wanted to pursue the allegations of physical abuse, not the sexual abuse.
He said he had problems with Antoine’s “credibility.”
Citizens for Community Renwal lawyer Helen Daley asked Malloy if he was ever shown notes by Suzie Robinson, a CAS caseworker that worked at the Second Street group home where Antoine was allegedly abused. Daley entered into evidence a statement by the CAS’s former executive director, Thomas O’Brien, that suggested he turned over Robinson’s notes to police in September 1989.
Malloy told Daley he couldn’t recall ever setting eyes upon the notes.
“Would that have affected your investigation if you’d (seen them)?” asked Daley.
“It would depend on the content of the notes,” Malloy said.
Cornwall police attorney Peter Manderville tried to jog Malloy’s memory by bringing him back to an interview he gave during the force’s 1994 internal investigation into the Antoine case.
In that interview, Malloy said he did receive CAS files from another officer.
“I’m sorry,” Malloy told Manderville. “I still don’t remember getting anything.”
Cornwall police never laid any charges in connection with Antoine’s allegations.
The 1994 review found systemic flaws with how the case was investigated, and Malloy was informally disciplined for his note-taking.
Malloy was adamant that, despite the outcomes of the two cases, he was never influenced by the fact he was investigating two well-known members of the community.
“Absolutely not,” he told Jones. “We don’t base investigations on who the suspect was or what position he holds.” The inquiry resumes at 9:30 a.m.this morning.
New lawyers making appearances
Inquiry junkies shouldn’t be surprised if they see a few new legal minds at the Weave Shed in the coming weeks. One commission lawyer has returned to his previous position while another two are set to go in the coming weeks, said lead commission counsel Peter Engelmann. Simon Ruel and Christine Morris were both on a leave of absence from the federal Ministry of Justice.
Ruel has already gone back, while Morris is set to return at the end of June, said Engelmann.A third lawyer, Raija Pulkkinen, will soon be going on maternity leave, he added. Karen Jones, the lawyer who conducted Tuesday and Wednesday’s examinationin-chief of Const. Kevin Malloy, is the newest member of the inquiry’s team.
Article ID# 999238
I am having a difficult time understanding the Marcel Lalonde issue. He was a teacher of mine at Bishop MacDonell in about the mid 70’s. Most kids in the school had him idnetified as a flamer. Being gay was something we use to ridicule each other about. We knew that boys DO NOT play with boys.We can use the psychologist claim that pedo’s pic their victims, but that claim has been abused more then the kids in Cornwall.I guess my question is how did all this really happen??Pritchard seeing as you never really do anything more then re hash news, I have a question for you. Does this kind of news excite you? It appears that promoting other peoples misfortune is all you write about. Maybe you need the psychologist.
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Johnson defends legal opinion provided to corrections ministry
CORNWALL PUBLIC INQUIRY
Cornwall Standard Freeholder
08 January 2008
Posted By TREVOR PRITCHARD, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER
A former Cornwall Crown attorney defended a legal opinion he gave nearly three decades ago which suggested there was insufficient evidence to proceed with charges against a local probation officer.
Don Johnson wrote to the Ministry of Correctional Services in June 1982, shortly after the ministry had wrapped up an internal investigation into one of its employees, Nelson Barque.
That April, the ministry received complaints Barque had been having sex with probationers and giving them alcohol. Barque acknowledged the allegations were true one month later.
After being approached by the ministry in June, Johnson wrote that criminal charges were unwarranted because Barque “resigned immediately” after being confronted.
Johnson also said one of the probationers was 21 years old – and therefore above the age of consent -while the second denied the two ever had a “homosexual relationship.”
Thirteen years later, in 1995, Barque pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a third probationer. He committed suicide in 1998.
Johnson was cross-examined Wednesday at the Cornwall Public Inquiry about that opinion – including whether or not he should have kept his views to himself until after a criminal investigation took place.
Citizens for Community Renewal attorney Jud a Strawczynski said the “proper course of action” should have been to tell ministry officials to take their concerns to the police.
Had that happened, it might not have taken 13 years before Barque was finally brought to justice, Strawczynski argued.
“Well, I didn’t put a ban or prohibition on the probation service’s investigative team not to go to the police,” said Johnson. “I never told them they couldn’t go there.”
But the letter dissuaded the ministry from taking that step, said Strawczynski, adding it never should have been written in the first place.
“That may be your position,” said Johnson. “It wasn’t mine.”
“Do you think you would write this letter if you were a Crown today, before sending it off to police?” asked Strawczynski.
“Given the same set of circumstances? Yes, I probably would,” said Johnson.
Dallas Lee, an attorney for The Victims Group, said he also couldn’t understand why Johnson would not have asked for a police i nve s t i g a t i o n before providing his opinion to the ministry.
He asked Johnson if he ever considered the ministry might have wanted the allegations against Barque to simply “go away.”
“Based at the time, obviously I didn’t,” said Johnson.
Yesterday was Johnson’s second day on the stand at the inquiry, which is exploring how institutions like the province’s justice system reacted to allegations of historical sexual abuse.
During his first day testifying, Johnson – who was a Crown attorney in Cornwall from 1972 until 1991 – said he could not recall being asked by the ministry in 1982 for his opinion.
He also said he didn’t know under what circumstances Barque had confessed to ministry officials, and said his statement would not have held up in court.
Johnson went into private practice after leaving the Crown’s office in 1991.
His status as a city defence lawyer caused the occasional hiccup yesterday, as there were points in his cross-examination where the questions touched on areas bound by solicitor-client privilege.
In fact, that issue kept Johnson’s testimony from being completed.
In the early 1990s, Johnson briefly met with David Silmser, a former altar boy who was alleging he had been sexually abused as a child by a priest and a probation officer.
Johnson seemed willing to talk about his encounter with Silmser, but Comm. Normand Glaude ruled Silmser would first be notified in case his lawyers wanted to argue the meeting was confidential.
The inquiry resumes today at 9:30 a. m.
My understanding is Silmser approached Johnson AS A LAWYER – doesn’t matter where, when, how or under what circumstances or if a retainer was paid. Johnson was approached for advise as a lawyer!!! Therfore, Silmser immediately became a “client” yet this lawyer feels he is free to talk about the exchange and has no qualms talking about it. Where the hell is this man’s ETHICS?
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #1 By RealityChecker,
Over and over I see how the personal decision of a servant of the law was the deciding factor in how they operate and not the letter of the law.
In fact they make the law up as they go along, including payoffs with legal letters of protection against further legal recourse. Just incredible. Captain Crunch certificates for that one.
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #2 By JungleLord,
In other words if you happened to be one of the ones who received one of these legal letters for protection (and obviously a settlement)you can’t sue any of these lawyers for agreeing to the deal to shut you up – even after their incompetence, conflicts and personal opinions which do not fall under the letter of the law are outed!!!
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #3 By RealityChecker,
MR. Don Johnson ran the court system in cornwall for years.When he talked everyone agreed wheater he was right or wrong.Crying out loud cornwall didn,t even need a judge he would know the outcome before it started.
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #4 By luckyred,
It is my opinion, of course, that “ANYONE” can sue “ANYONE”, at ANYTIME. Also, I believe “ANYONE” can sue “ANYONE” at “ANYTIME” and can disclose “ANYTHING” at “ANYTIME”, despite WHATEVER “stipulations” (i.e. “agreements, admissions, concessions were previously made by parties in a judicial proceeding or by their attorneys/lawyers…”), IF, “FRAUD” or any other criminal act or criminal act of ommission is “alleged”/”asserted” and hopefully would be proven by the plaintiff/petitioner/appellant or equivalent, making the “charge” and in relation to the original “matters/issues/settlements/letters” in question.
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #5 By JAMES “SPEAK OUT”
Here’s a hypothetical situation – you do manage to find a competent lawyer who WILL represent you and sue another lawyer (one you know previously committed a fraud on you and you have the proof and documentation). The competent lawyer files all the papers – the fraudster is served with a statement of claim, (he has also been reported to the law society by a lawyer) – the fraudster has 30 days to respond to the statement of claim. HE DOESN’T nor does he respond to any correspondence, court motions or anything from anybody. Does he really have to? Who’s going to force him? He’s still practicing. What do you do then???
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #6 By RealityChecker,
Of course, it is my opinion, based on my personal experiences in Canada and the U.S.
Therein, I would learn how to file the motion and contact the records dept. of the applicable court and schedule a hearing.. If the court ultimately determines the “statutes” have “run” and your claim is “no good” “stale”, then I would sue the alleged “competent” lawyer.
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #7 By JAMES “SPEAK OUT”
Here’s some more hypothesis – the motion for default and judgement gets filed. A hearing is set. Obviously the default judgement is set in your favour – the fraudster didn’t show up. However, the fraudster can still appeal this desicion….and he does – on the very last day (no “statutes” have “run”)….Fraudster obviously knows how to play the system and drag this out. Afterall – he IS A LAWYER.
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #8 By RealityChecker,
“the fraudster didn’t show up..”…so the Judge “Rules” in favour of the person who “motioned for the default judgement or equivalent”.
To the best of my knowledge, the “fraudster” cannot appeal this type of ruling, especially after the previous “proper” filings and “servicing” of the related Statement of Claim, etc. No, I’m sure, no appeal here! The “fraudster” had plenty of time to reply, settle and/or plea otherwise, within a “set time period”; see Ontario Civil Procedure-Case Management. Specific Rules, time expectations, etc. were introduced in the past 5-8 years to make certain “cases” did not remain stagnant.
Once the “default judgement or equivalent” is “Ordered”, there is no avenue to appeal on this type of “issue” at this “stage” of the “civil process”. This is exactly what I have been proposing for 5-10 years in Ontario. That is, 1-a lawyer must advise a potential client, how to file a complaint against a lawyer; i.e. client rights. 2-Independent, unbiased regulatory and disciplinary body, with “teeth” to prosecute Lawyers and Justice for wrongdoings.
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #9 By JAMES “SPEAK OUT”
James – he can appeal a default judgement….and I agree with you – something with TEETH is needed – totally independant!!!
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #10 By RealityChecker,
But, in any event, according to civil procedure and the Ontario Case Management process, the time limts and rules must be adhered to. Even the “competent lawyer” should have been following these “Rules” ex) Ontario-Rule 77. This is why courts now have “Masters of the Court” who are actually “case manmagers”. They are suppose to make certain litigations follow strict time requirements, among other things. However, as in my recent litigation in Ontario (I was the defendant), the “Master” did nothing to protect the purported integrity of Civil Procedure in Ontario. In my opinion, the “Master of the Court” was either a total ignorant buffoon or chummy with the plaintiffs. When I complained, the Chief Justice said I got what I wanted, so no further investigation was required…..who cares about my allegations.
So, I urge people to study the rules and demand your lawyer to, “act accordingly”.
In 1986, while residing in the U.S. and as a plaintiff against a lawyer, I received a default judgement (in my favour) for 1.75 million dollars. I began the process to collect. After 15 days, the court notified me there had been a court clerk error and my judgement had been reversed. I was advised that “Officers of the Court” et al, are immune from prosecution.
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #11 By JAMES “SPEAK OUT”
…oh, I forgot. To finish off the above, the lawyer immediately went ex-parte and filed for a dismissal; the litigation was filed in San Diego and I was residing in Florida. I would return for motions and other hearing dates. Based on the ex-parte submissions, the dismissal was immediately granted. (By-the-way, “Judge Glaude” went ex-parte to “get” Dunlop. (too bad investigative journalists missed this too or don’t understand it.)
Now back to me. The lawyer was a partner in a major “political” California law firm, still very politically active today in 2009. The lawyer became very significant as a “Democrat Party” fund raiser, advisor, etc and was instrumental in Bill Clintons “run” for the White House. He/they are very active with the “DNC”. (U.S.A.)
This was one time, as others, where I was advised, “James, you are out of the legal arena and into the political arena.” Such is the case in Cornwall.
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #12 By JAMES “SPEAK OUT”,
Well explained James!!! It really is a shame that people and/or investigative journalists missed and/or do not understand this process!!! And that it is happening in Canada too!!!
I gather its like most things in life – you have to be on the receiving end of the injustice to truly understand.
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #13 By RealityChecker,
Former Crown attorney takes stand
Cornwall Standard Freeholder
07 January 2009
Posted By DAVID NESSETH, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER
Former Cornwall Crown Attorney Don Johnson, who is now a practising defence attorney in the city, has begun testimony at the Cornwall Public Inquiry regarding his role – in both capacities -dealing with perpetrators linked to historical sexual abuse.
After a winter break, the inquiry resumed Tuesday in its final month and last scheduled institution – the Office of the Attorney General.
Commission Counsel Karen Jones walked Johnson through his contact with the male perpetrators and the respective bodies of investigation, highlighting issues such as the Crown not including release provisions that would have prevented men found guilty of abuse from contacting their victims.
“We were working with a high wire with no net,” said Johnson, who served as Cornwall’s Crown attorney from 1974 to 1991, plus two years prior as acting Crown.
Johnson attempted to paint the context of a Crown office during the eighties that didn’t have the resources it would today. He noted a heavy caseload, a lack of victim services and the technological limitations of the time.
Johnson, who was at a loss to explain why certain provisions were excluded from the release terms, said his office largely relied on the release terms suggested by police, and that the presiding judge would ultimately be responsible for setting terms such as a no contact with children order.
Jones suggested there should have been a checks and balance system by the Crown to ensure such provisions were made in the probation orders.
In the cases of Jean-Luc Leblanc and Father Gilles Deslauriers, both of whom received sentences related to child sex abuse, neither had no-contact provisions included in their release terms.
Jones also questioned Johnson about his role in the case of former probation officer Nelson Barque, who eventually committed suicide after allegations of sexual abuse resurfaced against him in 1998.
Barque had previously been found guilty of other sexually related offences in 1995.
The local probation office turned to Johnson about how to proceed with Barque, who in 1982 was accused of providing alcohol to two male probationers in exchange for sexual favours.
While Johnson eventually found there was insufficient evidence to proceed with charges against Barque, Jones asked why he didn’t explore the issue of consent regarding one of the alleged victims. The age of consent was 21 at the time, but Jones said records showed one of the alleged victims would have been 20 at the time of the alleged abuse.
Johnson said had he been aware of the man’s age, it may have affected his recommendation regarding charges.
Johnson also noted there was no breach of trust by Barque. It was a point Jones disagreed with, noting that any sexual abuse between an adult and a minor is a breach of trust.
“The law has evolved now, and had the circumstances occurred now compared to 1982, probably there would be stronger evidence of a breach of trust with the law as it stands now,” Johnson responded.
Some of the documents put to Johnson dated back nearly 30 years, and he could not recall a number of the meetings, memos and briefs that Jones presented.
It was unclear whether Johnson had ever seen a series of investigative reports, but Comm. Normand Glaude found that it was relevant to determine the procedures the Crown’s office used to deal with material it did receive. Glaude said this could help determine whether institutional response, such as that of the probation office, has improved or not.
At the end of Tuesday’s session, Glaude rejected an application that essentially called into question inquiry funding provided to the the Roman Catholic Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall.
Sex Offender Not Placed Under Certain Release Conditions-Inquiry
January 06, 2009 — There is little explanation why a sex offender in Cornwall was not under certain release conditions in the 1980s. Former Crown attorney Don Johnson told the Cornwall Public Inquiry today he does not know why Jean Luc Leblanc was able to contact victims and be around children. Johnson says that would not be the case today. (Hear audio clip below) Leblanc was sentenced to three years probation in 1986 on gross indecency charges. Leblanc plead guilty in 2001 to additional sex related charges. He is currently behind bars. Hearings continue.
[Transcript of audio clip: “I’ve had to cancel at least seven trials and about three or four sentencing hearings because of this. I was told that I would have time set aside. I set aside two days, the 15th and the 16th of December because of the prolongation of other witnesses, I wasn’t reached. Those days were lost to my clients.”]
Inquiry Hits Personal Bank Account – Johnson
January 07, 2009 — While the bills add up at the Cornwall Public Inquiry, it appears that the inquiry may have also caused a financial loss for at least one witness. Former Crown Attorney, Don Johnson, took the stand yesterday and told the commission that the inquiry process has hit his bank account. He says he has lost five days of income. (Hear audio clip below) Johnson is currently a Cornwall defense lawyer but he prosecuted child sex abuse cases in the 1970s and 80s. His testimony continues this morning at 9:30am.
[Transcript of audio clip: “I can tell you now that those terms are put in automatically. They’re included in the release documents. Why it wasn’t put in on this one, I don’t know. I can’t give an explanation for that.”]