David Silmser

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David Silmser

David Silmser was “allegedly” sexually molested by Father Charles MacDonald and probation officer Ken Seguin, an ex-seminarian.  He was also molested by Marcel Lalonde, a Roman Catholic school teacher.

The Beginning of it all 

09 December 1992: Nakic Memo re David Silmser call December 1992 to report sex abuse allegations

11 December 1992: Father Peter Schonenbach (Ottawa Archdiocese) letter to Msgr. Don McDougald re meet with David Silmser 

 -finds David Silmser |seems like a credible person

21 December 1992Malcolm MacDonald to Msgr. Donald McDougald

– “Malcolm” identifies himself as lawyer for Father Charles MacDonald

– Malcolm references what he calls  David Silmser’s “lengthy criminal record” ( in truth petty theft which started with theft  from parish immediately after sexual abuse by priest)

– Years later Malcolm entered guilty plea to charges of attempt to obstruct justice in this case.

– Malcolm MacDonald died in Fort Lauderdale before standing trial to charges of sex abuse of boys

February 1993: David Silmser Victim Statement 

Discredit the victim 

21 December 1992Malcolm MacDonald to Msgr. Donald McDougald

– “Malcolm” identiifies himself as lawyer for Father Charles MacDonald

– Malcolm references what he calls  David Silmser’s “lengthy criminal record” ( in truth petty theft which started with theft  from parish immediately after sexual abuse by priest)

– Years later Malcolm entered guilty plea to charges of attempt to obstruct justice in this case.

– Malcolm MacDonald died in Fort Lauderdale before standing trial to charges of sex abuse of boys

February 1993: David Silmser Victim Statement 

The Pay-Off

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

21 February 1994:  Staff Sgt. B.F. Wells to David Silmser

21 January 1994:  Staff Sgt. B.F. Wells re David Silmser compliant against Cst. Heidi Sebalj

11 January 1994:  Cornwall Police Service Board Press Release:  Police Board Account:  Incident Involving Alleged Sexual Assault

– signed by Leo Courville, chairman of the Board

– whether by accident or design the chronology of events in the press release omits, misrepresents and/or provides erroneous information regarding the “investigation” of the David Silmser sex abuse allegations against Father Charles MacDonald and probation officer Ken Seguin.  In addition, despite the fact that various documents indicate that by 11 January ’94 the CPS had conducted an investigation of Perry Dunlop’s actions and concluded no discipline would be imposed the press release implies otherwise. Indeed it

(1) very publicly casts the actions of Perry in a negative light,

(2) directly or indirectly implies that his actions are at the heart of “all” outstanding issues which demand resolution, and

(3) directly or indirectly invites David Silmser to file a complaint against Perry Dunlop.

11 January 1994:  Silmser’s lawyer Bryce Geoffrey to CPS Chief Carl Johnston and Cst. Heidi Sebalj  re legal action regarding release of David Silmser’s victim statement

Bryce Geoffrey hand-delivered letter threatening legal action – addressed to Cornwall Police Service Board, acting Chief Carl Johnston and Constable Heidi Sebalj. At this time Geoffrey was not yet aware that the diocesan hush deal was illegal. Nor did he seem to be yet aware that David Silmser accepted the pay-off only after being told in August 1993 that Father Charles MacDonald would not be charged. On the same day Leo Courville, chairman of the Cornwall Police Service Board, issued the following deceptive press release which omits to mention that an internal investigation had concluded that Perry acted in good faith and no disciplinary action would be taken.

14 January 1994: Statement of Bishop Eugene Larocque assuring that there is no attempt at cover-up.21 February 1994:  CPS Public complaint form referencing public complaint filed 21 January 1994 by David Silmser against Heidi Sebalj

Click here for several relevant media articles commencing 07 January 1994.01 March 1994: Children’s Aid Society to Father Charles MacDonald advising that CAS investigation has concluded he did sexually molest David Silmser.

31 August 1994: Dr. John Bradford Affidavit – says based on David Silmser’s victim statment there were reasonable grounds to believe at the time that other children were currently being molested.

14 August 1996: David Silmser/Carson Chisholm – Dave clarifies some issues and provides a few important details30 November 1996: David Silmser handwritten statement re sex abuse allegations against Roman Catholic school teacher Marcel Lalondel

07 April 2000: Constable Perry Dunlop Will State (his official account of events).  For the time being I have posted only the first 25 pages.  Several pages unfortunately are missing.  If and when I come across them they will be incorporated.

MUST READ! 22 March 2007:  David Silmser Letter to Justice Normand Glaude  (hand-delivered to the Weave Shed Monday morning, 26 March 2007) (this is a Word document)26 March 2007:  Commission Counsel Peter Engelmann email to Clint Culic (David Silmser’s lawyer) in response to David Silmser’s letter addressed to Justice Normand Glaude. (This is a Word document)

28 March 2007: Lawyers’Response at the Weave Shed to David Silmser’s letter to Justice Normand Glaude

29 March 2007: Justice Normand Glaude ruling on merit of David Silmser letter

01 February 2007: The Incident at the Weave Shed (Thursday )

14 February 2007:  Lead commission counsel Peter Engelmann letter to all parties re complaints re cross-

 08 January 2005:  BLOG Where does solicitor-client privilege fit into the equation?
Church considered another payoutCornwall Standard Freeholder

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 9:34:35 EDT AM
Trevor Pritchard

Eight years before David Silmser’s $32,000 payout became public in 1994, church officials considered negotiating a similar settlement with another abuse victim, the Cornwall Public Inquiry heard yesterday.Sr. Claudette Pilon was one of three people assigned by the Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese to look into sexual abuse allegations against Rev. Gilles Deslauriers in 1986.

Among the witnesses the ad hoc committee -which also included Msgr. Bernard Guindon and diocesan lawyer Jacques Leduc – met with was Benoit Brisson, one of Deslauriers’ victims.

Pilon said the committee was “really afflicted” after hearing Brisson’s story and wanted to come up with a way to help him.

“We discussed the fact it might be possible to give him some money and to also ask him for confidentiality,” said Pilon, who testified in French.

“But this was not actually the chosen solution.” Pilon said the specific amount the committee discussed was $32,000. She told commission lawyer Pierre Dumais she couldn’t remember whose idea the settlement was.

In September 1993, Silmser agreed to accept $32,000 from the diocese in exchange for not pursuing charges against Rev. Charles MacDonald. MacDonald had allegedly abused Silmser decades earlier when he was an altar boy at St. Columban’s Church in Cornwall. He was charged by the Ontario Provincial Police in 1996 with sexually abusing a number of boys, but the charges were stayed six years later after a judge ruled they’d taken too long to go to trial.

Leduc represented the diocese in those negotiations.

Silmser wasn’t named when the first media reports about the payout surfaced in January 1994, and Pilon said she originally believed Brisson was the recipient of the money.

“I thought right away of Benoit,” she said. Deslauriers pleaded guilty in November 1986 to abusing Brisson and three other Cornwall teens between 1979 and 1981. He was given two years’ probation.

Pilon is scheduled to retake the stand when the inquiry resumes today at 9:30 a. m.