Leduc Trial

Jacques Leduc

Under construction


Lawyers and judges

Pre-trial defence lawyer:  Michael Edelson (Ottawa)

Trial One:  Defence lawyer:  Stephen Skurka and Phil Campbell.  Crown: Shelley Hallett.  JudgesColin McKinnon (forced to recuse himself six weeks into trial.  Justice James Chadwick (granted the stay)

According to the Canadian Judicial Council it was Justice Cunningham who selected Justice Chadwick to replace Justice McKinnon

Trial “two” after ordered back to trial on appeal:  Defence:  Marie Heinein with Co-counsel Stephen Skurka,  Crown: Lidia Narosniak.  Judge:  Terence Platana.

Appeal of stay from first trialFor Leduc:  Marlys Edwardh, Breese Davies. Heather Pringle.  For appellant:  John C. Pearson

Ontario Court of Appeals judges:  Mr. Justice John Laskin, Madam Justice Kathryn Feldman and Madam Justice Eileen Gillese (Sent Leduc back to trial)

Lawyers for Leduc at Cornwall Public Inquiry:  Marie Henien, Danielle Robitaille


Lawyer, Roman Catholic Church canon lawyer and “alleged” paedophile Jacques Leduc testified at the Cornwall Public Inquiry 14, 15, 16, 17 & 18   July 2008

02 August 2008Canadian bishops opposed settlement: Urged local bishop not to approve it

14 July 2008:  Church panel didn’t share tales of sex abuse:Outside agencies weren’t told about historical allegations (Leduc involvement in Deslaurier)

16 June 2007:  The Advocates Society Advocates’ Society Treasurer Marie T Heinen (Special guests Lennox and Bryant, Board of Directors Callaghan and Humphrey)

21 September 2006:  One Year Into Cornwall Inquiry Stonewall-Cover-Up Goes Higher

20 October 2004:  Judge throws out Cornwall sex case 

02 March 2001:  “Judge made right decision” with commentary by Dick Nadeau

20 January 2001:  The Right to Know is the Bedrock of Democracy (the post which triggered Justice Colin McKinnon to cite Dick with contempt of court)

20 February 2001:  Justice Colin McKinnon acknowledges prior involvement with Perry Dunlop

19 January 2001:  Web site posting ‘damaged’ jury trial ; Court spectator scolded for forcing switch to judge alone


Travesty of Justice

09 April 2001:  Complaint to Canadian Judicial Council re judges at Leduc trial (Cover letter)

Appendix A:  Justice Colin McKinnon (Appendix A to CJC complaint)

Appendix B:  Justice James Chadwick (Appendix B to CJC complaint)

Backgrounder:  Backgrounder (Appendix C to CJC complaint)

17 July 2001:  CJC Responds:  Canadian Judicial Council Response (to allegations of judicial misconduct at Leduc trial)

Born and raised in Cornwall, OntarioDOB: 30 March 1951Schools:  Cornwall Classical College

St. Lawrence High School

University: Ottawa U

initially studied English Literature.

1971-72 studied for Master’s in English Literature – did one year graduate studies.  Did not complete Masters.  Moved to law studies

1976:  LLB

(in last year of law school was President of the Student Federation of the Faculty of Common Law)

1978:  Called to the Bar

Articled and practised for four years with law firm Adams, Bergeron amd Sherwood

In same year obtained Bachelor in Canon Law from Saint Paul University, Ottawa

1979: Masters in Canon Law – Saint Paul University, Ottawa)

Seems he studied both new and old canon law – the new code of canon law however was not promulgated until January 1983

2001: Certificate from the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution (mediation). The Institute operates in the St. Paul’s University premises

 to 2003 or 2004:  canon law work

The Pay-Off

Jacques Leduc represented the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall in the pay-off of David Silmser.  The pay-off illegally gagged Silmser by offering the $32,000 only if he told Cornwall Police that he no longer wished to pursue criminal charges against Father Charles MacDonald.

Leduc claimed that he did not see the final signed document with the illegal clause, and that the signed Full Release and Undertaking not to Disclose was handed over to the diocese in a sealed manila envelope.  Diocesan officials claimed that they did not open the envelope to check the signed papers and therefore failed to see the illegal clause.

02 September 1993: Full Release and Undertaking not to Disclose

(the now infamous illegal $32,000 pay-off.  According to Silmser $10,000 was paid by the diocese, $10,000 by Father Charles MacDonald, and $12,000 by insurance)  SIN number has been redacted.  Para 2 is the illegal clause.  It is illegal to prevent anyone from pursuing criminal charges or causing them to terminate any criminal action in progress.)

02 September 1993: Certificate of Independent Legal signed by Sean Adams

Sean Adams later testified that he read and explained the contents of the Full Release and Undertaking not to Disclose to David Silmser but did not see the illegal clause. (Silmser  testified that he later paid Adams $400 cash)

02 September 1993: Malcolm MacDonald to Sean Adams re escrow

Malcolm MacDonald letter to Sean Adams re cheque for $32,000 to be held in escrow until David Silmser advises police he does not want to proceed with charges.

03 September 1993: Malcolm MacDonald to Det. Sgt.Luc Brunet 03 Sept 1993

Malcolm MacDonald (lawyer for Father Charles MacDonald) letter to Det. Sgt. Luc Brunet (Cornwall police) containing copy of Certificate of Independent Legal Advice prepared by Sean Adams, solicitor for David Silmser. , and signed by David Silmser)

09 September 1993:  Staff Sgt. Lucien Brunet to Crown attorney Murray MacDonald

Brunet seeks advice re Silmser advising he no longer wants to proceed with criminal charges

14 September 1993:Crown attorney Murray MacDonald reply to Staff Sgt.  Lucien Brunet

The Crown discredits Silmser and in the process refers to the pay-off as the “so-called” settlement, and states that Silmser had charge laid for “monetary gain”

29 September 1993: David Silmser hand-written note asking that the “this matter against Charles MacDonald” be closed.

Silmser directs further inquires to his lawyer Sean Adams

 “Second” Leduc trial

24 January 2009:  Prosecutor tells inquiry Dunlop questioning was done fairly

10 November 2004:  R V. Leduc, 2004 (Reasons for Decision – Justice T. Platana grants Jacques Leduc a stay)  Justice Platana granted Leduc a stay stating in essence that Leduc’s Charter rights to a speedy trial had been violated.  In his closing para Justice Platana states:  “I am of the view that the protection of the defendant’s rights under s. 11(b) of the Charter and society’s interest in enforcement of those rights must predominate over the public interest in having the prosecution continue.”  Earlier in his decision he quotes  Justice Chilcott, in part as follows:   ” In the final analysis the judge, before staying charges, must be satisfied that the interest of the accused and society in a prompt trial outweighs the interest of society in bringing the accused to trial.”  (Justice Chilcott granted Father Charles Mac Donald a stay on the on the same grounds)

06 October 2004:  Leduc describes impact of sex abuse charges

29 September 2004:  Perry sworn statement for Justice Platana (in response to Justice Platana’s Order of Production during the “second” and final sexual abuse trial of Jacques Leduc )

29 September 2004:  Perry Dunlop disclosure of documents on order of Justice Terence  Platana (all of these documents had been disclosed by Perry before)

18 August 2004:  Perry Dunlop note to Justice Terence Platana  (hand-written after Perry realized he had been brought to Cornwall to testify at the   second Leduc trial under false pretenses.  Part of letter is unfortunately missing.  I will try to find the original)

19 October 2004:  Judge tosses sex assault charges over delays: Cornwall man first accused six years ago06 October 2004:  Cornwall: Judge ponders sex assault charges

Relevant BLOGS

on Sylvia’s Site

10 June 2010Will he get a cent?

11 April 2010Be prepared

05 February 2010Group sex?

12 January 2010:  Hilarious!

18 July 2009Whither the Sword

03 March 2009Where were they?

25 February 2009The message is out

13 February 2009Thoughts

30 January 2009“Connections”

26 January 2009What is truth?

28 January 2009Social engineering

16 January 2009The Cornwall Conflict List

14 January 2009Slowly making sense

12 January 2009None so blind

10 January 2009:  More connections

17 July 2008Why the sweet deal?

16 July 2008I am ashamed

16 July 2008:   Must tune in

14 July 2008Who hammered out that sweet deal?

12 October 2006:  BLOG Connecting the dots (Re Leduc interference at Deslaurier Prelim, and Nelson Barque connections)

Bits & Pieces 

Jacques Leduc provided both civil and canonical services to the diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall during Bishop Larocque’s tenure. As lawyer for the diocese he was instrumental in hammering out the details of the now infamous $32,000 pay-off.

Leduc, a husband and father, was charged by Project Truth, an OPP probe launched in August 1997 to investigate allegations of a pedophile ring and cover up in the Cornwall area.

Despite the fact that Leduc did not have the pre-requisite courses in theology, he was accepted by the canon law faculty at St. Paul’s University, Ottawa, a Roman Catholic pontifically-chartered university.  He attained his degree in Canon law in the early 80s.


On 13 May 2002, after Jacques Leduc was granted his first stay, a group of victims, parents and supporters had an impromptu meeting with Chancellor Monsignor Denis Vaillancourt.

Vaillancourt told the group that he, Vaillancourt, pursued his canon law degree at the same time as Leduc (1979-1981).  When asked if Leduc had had the pre-requisites to study canon law Vaillancourt said no, the prerequisites had been waived.  Vaillancourt said he thought that was unusual and that in his eyes Leduc was given preferential treatment.

Monsignor Vaillancourt said he did not know why Leduc decided to pursue studies in canon law, nor if he had pursued the studies at the request of Bishop Larocque.


It was during the above referenced meeting that Msgr. Vaillancourt implied that sex abuse of teenage boys was really no big deal – according to him sex abuse of boys is only a serious matter if the boys are pre-pubescent. At this the mother of a Leduc victim broke down in tears.

It was also during this meeting the group was told that Bishop Eugene Larocque put $50,000 of his own monies into diocesan coffers to help defray legal costs.

The Sex Abuse Trials

Justice Colin McKinnon(He Wasn’t From Cornwall Either)Prior to the Leduc trial it was understood that the judge would be chosen from outside the city or jurisdiction of Cornwall to give victims and citizens assurance there was no possibility of bias.Jacque Leduc’s sex abuse trial (his first) commenced 16 January 2001 with Justice Colin McKinnon as the sitting judge.McKinnon was from Ottawa. It was understood by most that since he was not from Cornwall there was no possibility of bias.  However, before witnesses were called to the stand and the trial – in the eyes of the public – formally commenced, Dick Nadeau, the operator of a “controversial” website which dealt with the allegations of cover-up in Cornwall, raised the question of bias on his website.Nadeau questioned the judge’s ability to conduct an unbiased trial because he, McKinnon, had previously been a lawyer for the former Chief of Police, Claude Shaver. (Shaver was chief of the Cornwall Police Service when former Constable Perry Dunlop went to the CAS with the victim’s statement which he inadvertently discovered had been secreted by his police force, the Cornwall Police Service)McKinnon did not explain or address the Shaver issue.  But he did forego a trial by jury claiming that the jury pool had been contaminated by Nadeau’s site, and he cited Nadeau with contempt of court for violating a publication ban.The trial by judge got under way.Several weeks into the trial Perry Dunlop’s name was first introduced into testimony and the trial degenerated into the trial of Perry Dunlop:  the defense filed a motion to stay the charges.Dick Nadeau was to be the first witness on the motion for stay. But, prior to taking the stand, Nadeau addressed the court and asked the judge to recuse himself because of his conflict of interest:  he cited Justice McKinnon’s prior activities as legal counsel for Claude Shaver.Justice McKinnon claimed he had no recollection of such activity.Mr. Nadeau then produced copies of two letters (14 October 1994 and 18 October 1994) signed by Colin D. McKinnon QC acting on behalf of Claude Shaver who was by then retired from the police force having taken an early retirement.  Both letters relate to the following item submitted by Carson Chisholm and appearing in the 03 October 1994 edition of the  Seaway News:

“Congratulations to Const. Perry Dunlop of the City Police for giving a copy of the sexual abuse complaint to the Children’s Aid Society.  Shame on management of the Police Force for trying to sweep it under the rug.  We hope that no one from that management team would ever get on the School Board or similar position of trust.”

The first McKinnon letter dated 14 October 1994 is addressed to Mr. Aubrey of the Seaway News and threatened legal action for “defamation” if an apology “subject to the approval of former Chief Shaver” was not submitted by 25 October 1994.

In the two page letter McKinnon noted that it is well known that the only member of the “management team” running for a position with the school board is former Police Chief Shaver and that the implication of the news note therefore was that “Claude Shaver is a person of bad character who participated in ‘sweeping under the rug’ sexual abuse allegations.”  McKinnon charged that the libel in this instance was exacerbated by the fact that the words quoted in the Seaway News “are in fact the words of Carson Chisholm who happens to be the brother-in-law of Const. Perry Dunlop. . . .a person presently facing a public inquiry for misconduct contrary to the Police Services Act.”

The second letter dated 18 October 1994 and addressed to Carson Chisholm also threatened legal action and demanded a written apology addressed to former Chief Shaver “for the defamation contained in the column.”

Once the letters were read aloud and into the record, however, Justice McKinnon’s memory was “refreshed.”  That prompted the judge to disclose that he had acted as legal counsel for the Cornwall Police Service and to decide that perhaps he should refresh his memory further by looking through files at the police station to see just how involved he might have been.

The following day, Justice McKinnon acknowledged that he had indeed been quite involved and was, in fact, responsible for advising that Dunlop be charged with misconduct under the police services act for going to the Children’s Aid Society when he realized that his police force was not pursuing the sex abuse allegations against Father Charles MacDonald and Ken Seguin.  It seems that once Dunlop was exonerated of wrongdoing, McKinnon advised an appeal.  Dunlop was exonerated.

The bottom line is that, as a lawyer, Justice McKinnon was involved with persons (Claude Shaver) and parties (Cornwall Police Service) and actions (charge Dunlop) at the ground-floor level of the allegations of cover up – and he was assigned to, and he took the bench at a Project Truth trial.

Justice McKinnon was not from Cornwall, but he had lots of connections to Cornwall -connections which inevitably and finally (before his second trial got off the ground) allowed an alleged paedophile Jacques Leduc to “walk” claiming his right to a speedy trial had been violated.

The travesty of the first Leduc trial and the conduct of the two judges involved is documented in the complaint to the Canadian Judicial Council (see upper right column )

[Justice Colin McKinnon, who believes judges and lawyers must “suffer bitter public derision” as guardians of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, was honoured by Ottawa’s County of Carleton Law Association in 1995. ]

Information on the second trial, the one which never really got off the ground, will be added at later date.


19 July 2008:  Lawyer defends Leduc’ oversight

18 July 2008:  Duty to report in inquiry spotlight

18 July 2008: Lawyer Suggests Witness Had Enough Information To Confront Priest-Inquiry

18 July 2008: Not reading final settlement ”disastrous’ mistake: Leduc

18 July 2008:  Lawyer tells  inquiry about misplaced trust

17 July 2008: Diocese failed to follow protocol

17 July 2008: Leduc claims he received three complaints

17 July 2008: Cornwall lawyer declines comment at the Inquiry

17 July 2008:  Final settlement not read lawyer admits

16 July 2008: City province to discuss funding issue

16 July 2008: Leduc  persuaded bishop to agree to $32,000 payout

16 July 2008: Church may not have seen final document: Inquiry

15 July 2008: Abuse complaints didn’t go to city police: Leduc

15 July 2008: Lawyer urged church to fix ‘messy situation’: Cornwall sex abuse inquiry hears that archdiocese was told in ‘forceful’ way to settle alleged victim’s case

15 July 2008:  Cornwall priest transferred after abuse allegations

14 July 2008: Church panel didn’t share tales of sex abuse: Outside agencies weren’t told about historical allegations

05 July 2008: City lawyer taking the stand when session resume

01 December 2006:  Dunlop one of the first to suggest clan operated

The Well’s investigation of the 1994 David Silmser complaint against Cst. Heidi Sebalj which, with the aid of then lawyer Colin McKinnon, morphed into charges under the Police Service Act against Cst. Perry Dunlop. 



Other Relevant Documents

27 January 2001:  Dick Nadeau cited with Contempt of Court

2003: Justice Chadwick retires (pdf file)

24 July 2003:  Leduc’s first stay overturned by Ontario Court of Appeal

13 October 2003:  Cornwall takes its toll again – Crown Attorney Shelley Hallett is hung out to dry, first by Project Truth officers, then by Leduc defence and Justice Chadwick, and even, strangely enough, by the office of the AG

July 2004:  Law Society bestows honourary doctorate on Chadwick in recognition of his “outstanding service to the public and the legal profession.”

29 September 2004: Sworn statement of Perry Dunlop in response to Justice Plantana’s Order of Production during the second and final Leduc sexual abuse trial (PDF file)

29 September 2004:  List of documents turned over to Justice Plantana by Perry Dunlop (PDF file)

04 October 2004: Jacques Leduc “walks” (videofile)

02 March 2001: Dick Nadeau on Leduc trial #1

03 March 2001: Margaret Wente Junps to Leduc’s defence

March 2007: Justice Terrence Platana’s Cornwall connections

25 February 2008:  Reina Leduc (mother of Jacques Leduc) deceased

28 February 2008: City lawyer decides not to return to inquiry



The St. Thomas More Lawyer’s Guild of Ottawa

11 January 2009:  Lawyers are serious about standup for good cause

19 April 2004: “Lawyers in Odd Clothes” & “Greenspon a young 50” and 18 April 2005 “Lawyers wax theatrical” and 05 March 2007 “Lawyers always love a stage”

14 February 1996: Rock amigo on glide path to bench



20 February 2001: Justice Colin McKinnon acknowledges his prior involvement with former Constable Perry Dunlop


Leduc testimony at the Cornwall Public Inquiry

14 July 2008:  Leduc testimony transcript

15 July 2008:  Leduc testimony transcript

16 July 2008:  Leduc testimony transcript 

17 July 2008:  Leduc testimony transcript



18 July 2008: Leduc testimony transcript

A Travesty of Justice

These following five files comprise those related to the 09 April 2001 complaint filed with the Canadian Judicial Council regarding, among other things, Justice Colin McKinnon’s conflict of interest and failed memory, the apparent animus of Justice James Chadwick toward Perry Dunlop, and pertinent back ground information which is an essential read to put the complaint into context.

The first file is the cover letter, the next three are appendices to the letter, and the fifth is the conclusion reached by the justices’ peers in the Canadian Judicial Council.

1. Complaint to Canadian Judicial Council:  cover letter

2. Appendix A: Complaint to Canadian Judicial Council re Justice Colin McKinnon

3. Appendix B: Complaint to Canadian Judicial Council re Justice James Chadwick

4. Appendix C: Complaint to Canadian Judicial Council Backgrounder

5. Canadian Judicial Council response



Sex trials tainted, cop says
Project Truth website ‘compromises’ cases

20 January 2001, Ottawa Sun

By Jacki Leroux
Ottawa Sun

A controversial website about Cornwall’s sex abuse scandal has likely tainted the trials of all those charged by ruining the Crown’s chances of finding an unbiased jury, a lead police investigator said yesterday.

Insp. Pat Hall, head of the OPP probe Project Truth, was responding to a Cornwall judge’s ruling this week that one of the accused will be tried by judge alone after the information posted on the Internet “compromised” the ability to find neutral jurors.

Jacques Leduc, a 49-year-old Cornwall lawyer charged with 16 sex-related offences against young boys, is one of nine men still to go before the courts under Project Truth. Hall believes the website posted by local man Dick Nadeau will likely affect other trials as well.

“I predicted that would happen,” said Hall. “I’m sure it’ll happen again. The other lawyers are going to use the same argument, I’m sure.”

Nadeau, who alleges he was sexually abused at a Cornwall Catholic boys college in the 1950s, posted alleged facts of Leduc’s case on the website, despite a publication ban.

The site, which is Nadeau’s attempt to uncover what he calls a pedophile ring in the Cornwall area, is the subject of an $800,000 defamatory lawsuit filed on behalf of a group of clergy members — including Cornwall Bishop Eugene Larocque — which Nadeau targets as part of the ring, even though none have been charged.

Nadeau refused to apologize for that, and he refused to apologize yesterday following the Leduc decision.

He believes Leduc’s lawyer just used his site as an excuse to try and get the trial moved to another city.

“Not everybody’s got a computer. They could have found a jury.”

The judge lifted the publication ban after Leduc opted for trial by judge alone.

“I have the power to hold you in contempt, although I’m not going to,” the judge said, telling Nadeau he hoped he understood the seriousness of what he’d done. The Crown agreed Nadeau’s actions compromised the trial.

To date, 16 Cornwall-area men have been charged under Project Truth. Harvey Latour was found not guilty, Keith Jodoin had his charge dropped and charges against Leonel Carriere were dismissed after he suffered a debilitating stroke.

The remaining four — Brian Dufour, Roch Landry, Malcolm MacDonald and Dr. Arthur Peachy — have died.

Cornwall residents stunned as sex abuse charges put on hold


April 17, 2001

by Staff Reporter

Parents and other Cornwall residents reacted with tears and disbelief Thursday as sexual exploitation charges were suspended against a prominent lawyer accused of abusing teenage boys in their community.

Jacques Leduc was charged in 1998 with eight counts of sexual exploitation as part of “Project Truth”, a police investigation that led to sex charges against several high-profile people in the community over alleged incidents involving children, some dating back to the 1950s.

On Thursday, Judge James Chadwick told the court that Leduc’s right to a fair trial had been breached. He said the Crown had deliberately and wilfully witheld information from the defence about the police investigation. And he said a stay of proceedings was the only solution.

The judgment stunned many observers in the packed courtroom. Some began crying, while others heckled.

The mother of one of the boys who testified against Leduc broke down in tears.

“He’s had a lot of mood swings,” she said, sobbing. “What happens if he commits suicide, then where do the charges go? I don’t know how he’s going to take it.”

But Leduc’s lawyer, Steven Skurka, says what happened in court was just and his client is the victim of a witch hunt.

Leduc was first implicated in the sexual abuse scandal in 1993, when he was the lawyer for the Catholic bishop in Cornwall. Leduc helped the bishop draw up an agreement to pay a former altar boy $32,000. In exchange, the young man was to withdraw charges against a priest who he said abused him.

Crown attorney Shelley Hallett says she will review the judge’s ruling and decide whether to appeal. Leduc’s lawyers say they doubt the decision will be overturned.

 Copyright 2001 CBC.ca

Appeal court clears prosecutorBy Gay AbbateUpdated at 3:23 PM EST  Friday, Aug. 1, 2003A senior Crown attorney has been cleared of willfully failing to reveal crucial information during a trial involving a lawyer charged with being part of a pedophile ring operating in the Cornwall area.The Ontario Court of Appeal said it has found no evidence to support a finding by a lower court that prosecutor Shelley Hallett intentionally denied evidence to lawyers for Jacques Leduc.During Mr. Leduc’s trial, a finding against Ms. Hallett allowed him to go free on charges that he had sexually assaulted three teenaged boys.In March, 2001, his lawyers persuaded Mr. Justice James Chadwick of the Ontario Superior Court to throw out the charges because Ms. Hallett had suppressed information about two telephone conversations between the mother of one of the alleged victims, herself a potential Crown witness, and the former police officer responsible for Mr. Leduc’s arrest.But appeal judges Mr. Justice John Laskin, Madam Justice Kathryn Feldman and Madam Justice Eileen Gillese found no evidence to justify the stay order and the accusation against Ms. Hallett.Writing for his colleagues, Judge Laskin said Judge Chadwick’s ruling “is so clearly wrong that it does amount to an injustice.”In overturning the stay order, the appellate judges ordered Mr. Leduc to stand trial again.Mr. Leduc, a Cornwall lawyer, was charged in June, 1998, with 16 counts of sexual assault, but they were eventually reduced to eight charges at trial.His arrest was part of Project Truth, an investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police into allegations a pedophile ring was operating within the Cornwall area.In 2001, after a four-year investigation, the OPP revealed they had no evidence to confirm a pedophile ring.© 2004 Bell Globemedia Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Cornwall child-sex case sunk by delays 

Toronto Globe and Mail


Tuesday, October 19, 2004 – Page A1

The bizarre case of a purported pedophile ring in Cornwall, Ont., came crashing to a halt yesterday when a judge stayed sex charges against the sole remaining defendant, lawyer Jacques Leduc.

Ontario Superior Court Judge Terrence Platana stayed eight charges against Mr. Leduc based on unreasonable trial delays amounting to 6½ years — virtually none of which, he said, was attributable to Mr. Leduc.

Judge Platana told a packed courtroom awaiting his ruling that Mr. Leduc did all he could to propel his case forward and suffered great condemnation in his local community throughout his ordeal.

“Mr. Leduc was subjected to the most enormous prejudice I’ve seen in my career,” defence counsel Marie Henein said in an interview last night. “There was vandalism — really obscene stuff painted on his walls — and threats that came through the mail.”

Ms. Henein and co-counsel Steven Skurka called the decision particularly courageous in light of the fact that the sensational allegations have convulsed the Eastern Ontario city since 1992.

A “small, vocal minority” of the community will always insist that a massive conspiracy existed among a well-connected elite to keep the purported pedophiles from being exposed and brought to justice, Ms. Henein said.

There was an almost-fictional quality to the lynch-mob mentality Mr. Leduc’s accusers exhibited, she added.

“I hope this is the end of it all, and that this community can move forward now.”

It was the second time the charges against Mr. Leduc have been stayed.

Three years ago, another judge ruled that a prosecutor had willfully failed to reveal contact between an alleged victim and a policeman — former Cornwall police constable Perry Dunlop — whose zeal for the case had turned him into a “vigilante.”

However, the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned that decision and ordered a new trial.

Ms. Henein said the prosecution was the last one involving what the OPP codenamed Project Truth.

“It’s the end of the road,” she said.

The case erupted into national prominence after Mr. Dunlop campaigned to have the Ontario Provincial Police take over the case from his own force, which he said had bungled it.

His campaign resulted in the creation of Project Truth, which laid 114 charges against 14 men during 1998.

Among those charged were a doctor, a lawyer, a butcher, a bus driver, an organist and three Roman Catholic priests.

The 37 complainants alleged they were subjected to abuse ranging from buggery and anal intercourse to gross indecency.

However, some charges were withdrawn after it became apparent that Mr. Dunlop had interfered with witnesses and played fast and loose with evidence, Ms. Henein said yesterday.

Charges were laid against 15 men in Project Truth.

Jean-Luc Leblanc, who pleaded guilty to 12 charges in 2001, was the only one successfully prosecuted.

Two of the men charged committed suicide.

Leduc headed back to trial

Supreme Court denies city lawyer’s appeal

Cornwall Standard-Freeholder
By Terri Saunders

Tuesday, January 13, 2004 – 10:00

It took the Supreme Court of Canada less than 10 minutes Monday to determine a city lawyer should go back to trial on sexual assault charges.

With just eight words, a judge told Jacques Leduc his efforts to overturn an Ontario Court of Appeal decision handed down last fall had been in vain.

“The court has decided to dismiss the application,” was the sum total of the judgment by Judge Michel Bastarache, following a 40-minute motion hearing.

Leduc, 52, went on trial in January 2001, on charges he sexually assaulted a number of young boys in the 1980s and 1990s. The charges were stayed six weeks later when a judge determined Crown attorney Shelley Hallett deliberately withheld evidence from the defence.

In arguing against ordering a new trial, Philip Campbell, the lawyer representing Leduc, said Hallett wilfully withheld from the defence knowledge of contact between former city police officer Perry Dunlop and a witness in the case. Hallett did not reveal the Dunlop contact in an effort to aid her prosecution, he said.

Crown attorney John Pearson said the application to overturn the court of appeal ruling “is nothing but an attempt to breathe life into outrageous allegations (against Hallett).”

“(The application) should be laid to rest so the allegations (against Leduc) may be tried on their merit as soon as possible.”

Court also upheld an order by the Ontario Court of Appeal denying Leduc $300,000 in court costs. In the original trial, Judge James B. Chadwick ruled Leduc should be reimbursed the costs, but the ruling was later overturned by the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Ontario judge stays ‘Project Truth’ charges

Updated: Tue. Oct. 19 2004 9:16 AM ET
CTV.ca News Staff

An Ontario Superior Court judge has stayed charges against the sole remaining defendant in the case of an alleged pedophile ring in the southeastern city of Cornwall.

Citing unreasonable delays, Ontario Superior Court Judge Terrence Platana stayed eight charges against lawyer Jacques Leduc on Monday.

For Leduc, this is the second time charges against him have been stayed. In 2001, another judge ruled that a prosecutor had failed to disclose all the evidence.

That ruling was later overturned by the Ontario Court of Appeal, which ordered a new trial.

Leduc, who was once the lawyer for Cornwall’s Roman Catholic archdiocese, was the last of more than 15 prominent citizens charged with sexually assaulting local teenagers.

The case rose to national prominence when former Cornwall police constable Perry Dunlop, saying his force had bungled the case, campaigned to have the Ontario Provincial Police take over.

The subsequent ‘Project Truth’ investigation of allegations that a pedophile ring existed, and that it was covered up, ultimately led to charges against 15 men in 1998.

Thirty-seven complainants alleged they were subjected to abuse ranging from buggery to gross indecency by an assortment of men that included a doctor, lawyer, butcher, bus driver and three Roman Catholic priests.

Only one of the accused, Jean-Luc Leblanc, was successfully prosecuted. He pleaded guilty to 12 charges in 2001.

Two of the accused committed suicide.

Now that the court case against Leduc is concuded, Premier Dalton McGuinty is free to make good on his promise of a full public inquiry into the case.