CBC, Citizen fight publication ban on name of Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic worker
The Ottawa Citizen
Thursday 30 November 2006
Lawyers for the Citizen and the CBC will argue today against the extension of a publication ban at the Cornwall sex abuse inquiry protecting the identity of an Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic diocese employee.
Lawyers for the two news organizations and other parties will argue that the employee, who was acquitted in court of sexual abuse, should be identified at the inquiry into historical child sexual abuse in the Cornwall area.
Earlier this week, Commissioner Normand Glaude dismissed a diocese motion to protect the employee’s identity.
Judge Glaude ruled that it can’t be presumed that the public, “equipped with the reminders of (the employee’s) acquittal, will jump to any unfair or unfounded allegations.”
A temporary publication ban placed on the employee’s identity while Judge Glaude made his decision expires today at 5 p.m., but diocese lawyers are asking an Ontario Divisional Court judge to continue the ban until a judicial review of Judge Glaude’s ruling is heard by the Divisional Court.
The Citizen is intervening in the case to oppose the extension of the publication ban. Lawyer Rick Dearden said yesterday that the newspaper “will be arguing that there is no necessity to extend the publication ban, and it will be our position that the employee does not enjoy a discretionary right of privacy before the Cornwall commission of inquiry.”
Diocese lawyer Bruce Carr-Harris could not be reached for comment.
The ongoing inquiry expects to hear witness Claude Marleau say that the employee was among a number of people who abused him as a youth. The employee has been charged and acquitted in relation to Mr. Marleau’s allegations.
A lawyer for the diocese, acting on behalf of the employee, had argued that the reason the man’s identity should be kept confidential is that it is irrelevant to the inquiry’s mandate, which is to explore the institutional response to, and police investigations of, the sexual abuse.
But Judge Glaude ruled that Mr. Marleau will likely indicate that he was abused by a number of people who knew each other. The employee’s name “is relevant when examining the interconnectedness of persons, particularly given the allegations of conspiracy that surround the facts giving rise to this inquiry,” he wrote in the reasons for his decision, which were released this week.
“This inquiry is not about (the employee) nor is it about is guilt or innocence, but is about institutional responses. The criminal allegations against (the employee) will not and cannot be re-tried,” the judge wrote.
© The Ottawa Citizen 2006
Priest can be named, inquiry judge decides
Request for publication ban denied at Project Truth inquiry
29 November 2006
By Canadian Press
CORNWALL — A priest who was acquitted of sexually abusing a teenage boy will not suffer undue harm if his name is once again in the public realm, the Cornwall Public Inquiry judge ruled Tuesday.
Commissioner Normand Glaude dismissed a motion by the Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese to enact a publication ban on the name of a priest expected to be identified in allegations being made by a witness this week.
In delivering his reasons for the decision, Glaude said the priest has been the subject of media attention in the past and would not be significantly impacted by additional publicity. Glaude also said it his not his intention to find fault when hearing any allegations made against any individual.
“I will not and cannot try or re-try the allegations that were made against him (the priest),” said Glaude, “nor will I make findings of criminal or civil responsibility.”
The name of the priest is protected under an interim publication ban while lawyers for the diocese seek a stay of the ruling prior to a judicial review of the decision. The Ontario Divisional Court was expected to decide Wednesday whether to extend the publication ban until such time as a judicial review can be heard.
Tuesday’s session of the public inquiry, which is evaluating allegations of systemic sexual abuse by public figures in the Cornwall area, also featured emotional testimony from one of the victims.
Claude Marleau described the impact of abuse he allegedly suffered at the hands of eight local men in the 1960s.
Only one of the men, Rev. Paul Lapierre, was found guilty of abusing Marleau.
Lapierre was convicted in a Quebec court in 2004 and began serving a one-year jail sentence in September 2006.
For years, Marleau said, he buried memories of the sexual assaults in order to protect himself emotionally.
“The only way to survive is to dig this into the bottom of a drawer,” said the 54-year-old. “It was buried in my memory for 30 years.”
Born and raised in Cornwall, Marleau dropped out of high school and was working in factories during his late teenage years.
He eventually pulled away from his abusers and returned to school, going on to earn a law degree.
Marleau told the inquiry he did not begin to deal with the ramifications of the abuse he suffered until 1997 when he read newspaper accounts of similar allegations.
Later that year, he testified against some of his alleged abusers.
Marleau’s testimony continues Wednesday.