Marleau: Claude Marleau

 Claude Marleau

Claude Marleau is referred to as “John Doe” in a number of other postings.

Claude Marleau, a lawyer by profession,  alleges he was sexually abused and passed around like a used toy by Dr. Arthur Peachy, Sandy Lawrence, Roch Landry and Fathers Don ScottHollis Lapierre Rene Dube , Kenneth Martin and  Paul Lapierre

Dr. Peachy died 1999 before standing trial (some say of questionable circumstances). Roch Landry died 2000. Sandy Lawrence was acquitted – he died 2006. (The acquittal

Father Don Scot died of AIDS 1989.  Father Hollis Lapierre died 1975 with a stash of porn tucked away at the head of his bed.

Father Rene Dube was acquitted in Montreal, Quebec.

Father Paul Lapierre was found guilty of sexually abusing Claude Marleau in Montreal Quebec and is currently incarcerated.  He was acquitted in Cornwall Ontario of sexually abusing Claude in Cornwall and area.


For Further Info

16 January 2007:  Episcopal Corporation of Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall vs Cornwall Public Inquiry (Diocese loses appeal to ban publication of Rene Dube name Court of Appeal.  Bruce Carr-Harris and David Sheriff-Scott for diocese.  Brian Gover and Patricia Latimer for Commissioner.)

18 October 2006   Father Paul Lapierre is incarcerated

26 March 2002:  One of Father Paul Lapierre’s Montreal appeals is dismissed (bilingual document)

26 March 2002::  Lapierre v Garneau  (Montreal judge denies application to stay Montreal trial after Father Dube – Lapierre’s co-defendant, acquitted. all priest)

08 October 2001 Insufficient proof: A Catholic priest is acquitted of sex charges after accusing other priests of pedophilia

Fall 2001:  Finally!!! A Project Truth win

13 September 2001 Justice Lalonde tap dances his way into an acquittal for Father Paul Lapierre 

19 September 2000: Appendix “B” The Lawsuit – Storm Tossed House

Undated excerpt from Dick Nadeau’s website:  Naming Names



08 January 2005:  BLOG Where does solicitor-client privilege fit into the equation?

21 November 2008:  BLOG Yes, there WAS a ring

09 December 2008: BLOG  Back in La La Land

04 December 2008:  BLOG The bewitching hour

03 December 2008:   BLOG What constitutes a ring?


(Scroll down further for coverage of trials)

27 August 2008“Diocese Did Not Provide Police With All Information-LaRocque” & related article (Larocque knew that Lapierre was a molester, – and remained silent)

30 January 2007: Diocese Employee’s Name Not Protected

16 January 2007Alleged abusers can be named at inquiry

12 December 2006: No Publication Ban For Employee Of Local Diocese

08 December 2006Employee has no right to privacy, inquiry told:  Publication ban would turn tradition ‘on its head’ inquiry into sex abuse hears

02 December 2006: Testifying at inquiry gives victim closure

01 December 2006:  Marleau Continues Testimony At Inquiry

01 December 2006Abuse victim says he was ‘passed around’ by attackers

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

01 December 2006cornwall public inquiry; Pattern of burying abuse secrets makes it difficult to come forward

01 December 2006Pedophiles passed me around, inquiry told:  Alleged victim tells Project Truth inquiry of ‘ring’ of child abusers

30 November 2006: “Newspaper wants to identify man in sex abuse probe (CBC and Ottawa Citizen to fight ban” & “Priest can be named”

30 November 2006“Victim Hits Day Three On The Stand At The Inquiry” & related article

29 November 2006Victim Wonders Why Diocese Escaped Investigation

28 November 2006: Another priest loses battle to keep his name secret

28 November 2006Victim Says Eight Men Abused Him

28 November 2006Few secrets at Project Truth Inquiry (Diocese request for ban on Father Rene Dube’s name denied)

24 November ’06: More Delays – Inquiry to run for another year

18 October 2006Priest begins serving sentence

26 March 2002Lapierre v. Garneau (Father Lapierre application to stay proceedings in Quebec dismissed) (bilingual document)

02 November 2001:  Judge delays verdict in priest case

08 October 2001 Insufficient proof: A Catholic priest is acquitted of sex charges after accusing other priests of pedophilia

08 September 2001‘Others’ involved in sex abuse: priest (Father Lapierre names names and points to finger everywhere but at himself)

27 November 2006: Unorthodox rules for Claude Marleau testimony

24 November 2006[More Delays – Cornwall Inquiry to run for another year]

Priest ‘not prepared’ to deal with allegations of abuse

Cornwall Standard Freeholder

22 July 2008

Posted By By Trevor Pritchard


A North Stormont clergyman told the Cornwall Public Inquiry he was “not at all prepared” to handle abuse allegations he received in the 1950s and 1960s against his fellow priests

. Msgr. Réjean Lebrun, who was ordained by the Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese in 1962, told a lawyer for a community group he didn’t turn over complaints against Paul Lapierre, Lucien Lussier, and Carl Stone to the authorities because of his inexperience.

“I was not at all prepared for that type of situation,” said Lebrun, 73. “It was completely beyond me.” Testifying in French, Lebrun told the inquiry – which is probing how institutions like the diocese handled allegations of sexual abuse from decades earlier – that Lapierre was the vicar in the parish where he grew up. It was there, Lebrun said, that he first heard rumours Lapierre had assaulted another youth.

Lapierre was found guilty in 2004 by a Quebec judge for assaulting a 13-year-old Montreal boy in the 1960s.

He had previously been charged and acquitted in Ontario. Lebrun said he tried to divulge the rumours to the victim’s mother after Lapierre’s trial, but she didn’t want to hear them.

“That was the end of that story,” Lebrun said. “So I did not follow up.” Lebrun said he also received an allegation against Stone in 1965 from a Cornwall high school student. Stone – who died two years ago – had left the diocese in 1963

. Lebrun said when he went to another priest for an explanation for Stone’s departure, the priest threw his hands up and said “young boys.”

Lebrun also said he learned of a relationship between Lussier and another boy “in very little detail” during a meeting with Lussier’s parishioners sometime around 1967.

Lussier was charged in September 2007 and again in January 2008 with indecent assault charges going back five decades. His case is still before the courts.

Peter Wardle, an attorney for the Citizens for Community Renewal, suggested that in the 1960s, the clergy viewed sexual abuse allegations as something “the bishop was dealing with.”

It was likely Lebrun wouldn’t have felt obligated to go to the police or the Children’s Aid Society, Wardle said. “You’re absolutely right,” said Lebrun. “I

only had three years’ experience. I was a very, very new priest.” Lebrun told Dallas Lee, an attorney for The Victims Group, he also learned of an allegation against a fourth priest, Hollis Lapierre, in the 1960s.

A young man in his 20s had come for advice on whether it was all right to sleep with his same-sex lover. When Lebrun said it wasn’t, the man replied: “So what do you do with Father (Hollis) Lapierre, who plays with the young people?” Lebrun said he was “really angered” by the allegation, which he delivered to the bishop’s office

. Hollis Lapierre, Paul Lapierre’s brother, died in 1975. Lebrun testified there was still no official protocol in place two decades later when allegations surfaced against another priest, Gilles Deslauriers.

Deslauriers pleaded guilty in November 1986 to four counts of gross indecency and was sentenced to two years’ probation. “We were profoundly shocked,” said Lebrun. “It was the first time we had to manage such a crisis. We were lost.”

Lebrun was the priest at the former St. John Bosco parish from 1972 until 1987, and knew Deslauriers from the time he boarded there while he was chaplain at la Citadelle, a local high school.

One of Deslauriers’ victims told police that Deslauriers would molest him in his office, stopping temporarily as Lebrun walked by. Lebrun said he never saw the abuse happen.

“The windows were frosted,” said Lebrun. “I never saw anything, really. I never heard anything.”

After the allegations against Deslauriers became public, rumours spread through the parish without any official statement from the bishop’s office, Lebrun said.

Still, then-bishop Eugene LaRocque was saddened by the situation and wanted to take action, Lebrun said. “I don’t remember the exact words but I remember enough to tell you that Msgr. LaRocque was deeply troubled by these events,” he told Lee.

Over the next decade-and-a-half, Lebrun would take part in many meetings with the goal of hammering out a protocol for dealing with abuse complaints.

He helped craft the diocese’s 2003 guidelines, and said Monday that he regretted not having a similar protocol to refer to decades earlier.

“Had I had the knowledge I have today, the guidelines I have today, the protocol I have today, it’s clear that the reactions I would’ve had would be very different,” Lebrun said. Article ID# 1123571

cornwall public inquiry; Pattern of burying abuse secrets makes it difficult to come forward

Cornwall Standard Freeholder

01 December 2006

Terri Saunders

Local News – Decades of burying the dark secret of sexual abuse is one reason victims sometimes wait years before they tell anyone about the suffering they endured as children, an adult abuse survivor told the Cornwall Public Inquiry Thursday.

“Don’t be skeptical as to why someone would open up after 20 years,” said Claude Marleau. “Try to understand (that) the abuse has impacted that person’s mental processes.”

Marleau told the inquiry this week he was sexually abused by a number of men in the Cornwall area in the 1960s. Several of those men were acquitted at trials in 2001, but one of them, Rev. Paul Lapierre, was convicted and sentenced to a year in prison in 2004 following a trial in Montreal.

The priest appealed the sentence, but was unsuccessful. He began serving time in September of this year.

Over the course of several years in the late 1990s, Marleau met with investigators from the Ontario Provincial Police’s Project Truth team to give them information about his abuse.

On Thursday, he told the inquiry he still has some doubts as to whether those interviews were conducted properly and whether the resulting criminal charges against Lapierre and three other priests were prosecuted appropriately.

Marleau, who is now 54 years old and a lawyer practising part-time in Montreal and part-time in Costa Rica, said he’s unsure as to whether investigators had sufficient training to handle historical abuse allegations.

“There’s a huge difference between . . . a murder that happened two months ago and a case (involving historical crimes),” he said. “You can’t have the same sort of (investigation) into things that happened years ago.”

Marleau said when he first spoke with police, he wasn’t prepared to give a full statement of the events of his childhood. But that’s exactly what happened.

Marleau said his first encounter with investigators took place at the Lancaster detachment of the OPP, a meeting he believed would be nothing more than a casual conversation to determine whether or not he had any information of use to the Project Truth team.

Marleau said he ended up being formally interviewed about the complete timeline of abuse he suffered between the ages of 11 and 17.

At times, he admitted, he provided information which turned out to be incorrect, something he attributes to a decades-long effort he’d made to keep the abuse hidden deep in his memory.

Marleau said the errors he made came back to haunt him each time he took the stand in the four resulting criminal trials.

“It was a nightmare,” he said Thursday.

He also said it would help police and officials with the justice system to take into account the fact most victims bury details of abuse in an effort to forget it ever happened.

“The process of examination to test the credibility of a witness should be different,” said Marleau, referring to the fact defense attorneys often point to inaccuracies given during police interviews as possible evidence the witness has either changed his story or has mistaken the details of events. “They should factor in the difficulties in memory for someone who has buried it for years.”

Marleau also talked about how difficult it can be for a victim after the abuse has come to an end. He said most victims don’t grow up with the same support systems around them such as family and friends as do young people who are not abused, and once a victim breaks free from an abuser they may often find themselves alone in the world.

“When you get out, you have no mileposts, no reference points,” Marleau said. “You have to build them for yourself. You don’t know what you’re supposed to be.”

Marleau also said many victims will question themselves forever about things such as their own sexuality and whether or not the decisions they end up making in life are ones which resulted from the abuse.

“You never have a certainty that your choices are good choices and that they’re not distorted and not a defense mchanism,” he said.

“For me, even today, I will never know if the fact I don’t have children is a consequence of this cycle of abuse or if it was a choice of free will.”

Pedophiles passed me around, inquiry told

Alleged victim tells Project Truth inquiry of ‘ring’ of child abusers

Ottawa Sun (online edition)

01 December 2006

By Canadian Press

CORNWALL — A former Cornwall man says he was “passed around like a gift” as a teenager in the 1960s among a group of older men he described as a “ring” of pedophiles. Claude Marleau, 54, capped off a third day of testimony at the Cornwall Public Inquiry by telling the commission on Thursday he believes eight men — five of them area priests — who allegedly sexually abused him knew each other and knowingly shared him for their sexual gratification.

During cross-examination by Dallas Lee, an attorney representing the Victims Group at the inquiry, Marleau suggested the group of men were working together.

“If you don’t qualify the gang who abused me as a `ring’,” said Marleau, “I don’t know what (else it would be.)”

In 2001, Marleau was a complainant in the sex trials of two priests and a city musician. Both priests and the musician were acquitted, but the priest was eventually convicted of similar offences in Montreal and began serving a one-year jail term in September.

The charges resulted from a four-year provincial police investigation, called Project Truth, into allegations of systemic child sexual abuse in the Cornwall area.

During the course of the probe, the theory that a clan of pedophiles was at work in the Cornwall area for several decades from the 1950s to the 1990s gathered steam as charges were laid against a number of priests from Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese, a city doctor, a lawyer, a Crown attorney, several businessmen and a school bus driver, among others.

Former city police officer Perry Dunlop was one of the first people to suggest a clan of pedophiles was working in Cornwall and used the term in documents related to a multi-million dollar lawsuit he launched against several individuals and organizations, including the Cornwall Community Police Service.

Provincial police never found evidence that a pedophile ring was operating in Cornwall during the Project Truth investigation.

Also on Thursday, an application to seek a stay of a recent ruling by the inquiry’s commissioner was adjourned at the Ontario Divisional Court.

Earlier this week, attorneys for the diocese asked the commission to put a publication ban in place on the name of a priest mentioned in tetimony this week.

Although Commissioner Normand Glaude denied the motion, he put an interim ban in place while lawyers for the diocese sought a judicial review of his decision.

Sex-probe publication ban remains in place

Judge recuses himself after suggestions past work could bias him

Ottawa Citizen

01 December 2006

Neco Cockburn A publication ban at the Cornwall sex abuse inquiry protecting the name of an Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic diocese employee will stay in place until next week, after a judge withdrew from hearing the matter yesterday.

Commission lawyer Peter Engelmann asked Justice Denis Power to recuse himself because of his involvement as a lawyer in civil legal proceedings about 10 years ago that involved a central witness.

The witness will testify in January at the inquiry into historical child sexual abuse in the Cornwall area.

Circumstances surrounding the civil proceedings between 1995 and 1997 were very important to the OPP-led Project Truth investigation and the ongoing commission, Mr. Engelmann argued. He said witnesses had raised concerns over Judge Power’s involvement, adding any public perception of bias could cause problems for the inquiry, which is looking into the institutional response to, and police investigations of, the sexual abuse.

The Ontario Divisional Court was scheduled yesterday to hear arguments regarding the extension of a temporary publication ban on the diocesan employee’s name.

The ban was put into effect while Commissioner Normand Glaude decided whether the employee’s identity should be protected. T

he employee was charged and acquitted in relation to allegations of abuse by witness Claude Marleau, who is expected to tell the inquiry this week that the employee was among a number of people who abused him.

After Judge Glaude dismissed a motion to protect the employee’s identity, diocesan lawyers were in court yesterday to ask for the continuation of the publication ban — which was to expire at 5 p.m. — until a judicial review of Judge Glaude’s ruling was heard by the Divisional Court.

The Citizen and the CBC are among parties seeking to have the ban lifted. A hearing on the issue is now scheduled to take place next Thursday, ater a new judge has been found. Meanwhile, Mr. Marleau is expected to finish testifying before the inquiry today. The inquiry is not sitting next week.

More Victim Testimony At Inquiry

Cornwall News AM 1220

November 30, 2006 — A man who says he was abused by eight men including a number of priests is telling his tales of abuse at the Cornwall Public Inquiry. Claude Marleau is talking about the impacts of child sexual abuse. He says you develop a reputation that you are a loser. Marleau says another demon is to never have a certainty that your choices are good choices that they have not be tainted or distorted from these events. Even today, he asks himself why he does not have children of his own. He does not know if it was a direct effect of the abuse or it was a conscious choice. Marleau says he will never be able to answer that question. He told the commission if the inquiry saves one person then they have done their job.

Victim Hits Day Three On The Stand At The Inquiry

Cornwall News AM 1220

November 30, 2006 — For the third day in a row, Claude Marleau is sharing his story at the Cornwall Public Inquiry. Marleau says he was abused by eight local men including a number of priests. Marleau says he felt like he was being passed around like a pleasure toy for their benefit. He says he thinks those feelings were a result of grooming from his perpetrators. Marleau says he fled the city to get away from it all. He says at this point an apology would be useless and he has no use for the church. Meanwhile, the publication ban remains in effect for a priest who is seeking protection by the diocese. Commissioner Normand Glaude ruled the ban was not necessary on Monday. Diocese lawyers disagreed and took the issue to a higher court this morning but a judge declared a conflict of interest so the matter was not heard. Arguments are expected to be made at the divisional court at the end of next week. Glaude has put an interim ban on the name until next Friday.

Victim Wonders Why Diocese Escaped Investigation

Cornwall News AM 1220

November 29, 2006 — Testimony today at the Cornwall Public Inquiry is centering on how the police investigated a couple of sex abuse allegations. On the stand is Claude Marleau, who says he was abused by eight men including five priests during his pre-teen and teenage years. Marleau said initially, he was pleased with how the O-P-P dealt with his complaints, but as time passes, he now questions why the diocese was never investigated. Only one man was convicted in Marleau’s case; Father Paul Lapierre was found guilty in a Quebec court two years ago. He faced similar charges in Ontario but was acquitted. Cross-examination gets underway when the hearings resume tomorrow.

Victim Says Eight Men Abused Him

Cornwall News AM 1220

November 28, 2006 — He says he was abused by eight men while growing up in the city. Claude Marleau testified today at the Cornwall Public Inquiry and claimed he was abused by five priests and three others during his pre-teen and teenage years. Two years ago, a Quebec court found Father Paul Lapierre guilty of abusing Marleau. Lapierre was acquitted on similar charges in a Cornwall court. Marleau says the police told him not talk to Perry Dunlop who is the former city cop credited with shining light on the abuse issue. Meanwhile, Commissioner Normand Glaude gave his reasons for dismissing a motion regarding a confidentiality issue brought forward by the diocese. Lwyers for the diocese are going to a higher court to seek a review of the decision. Until then, the AM 1220 News Centre can not air the name of the individual in question due to a publication ban.

Priest begins serving sentence

Cornwall Standard Freeholder

Wednesday, October 18, 2006 – 10:00

Kevin Lajoie

Local News – A former Catholic priest who served in the Alexandria-Cornwall diocese until 1969 has started serving a one-year jail sentence after being found guilty of indecent assault and gross indecency two years ago.

Rev. Paul Lapierre, 77, was found guilty by a Quebec judge in June 2004 for indecently assaulting a 13-year-old male at a residence in Montreal in 1965.

Lapierre was sentenced to one year of incarceration in October 2004 and an appeal of the sentence by the priest’s lawyers was rejected by the Quebec Court of Appeals last month, leading to Lapierre’s incarceration.

Following the sentencing, Alexandria-Cornwall Bishop Paul-Andre Durocher revoked Lapierre’s diocesan faculties for ministry, including any faculty to preach or hear confessions. Ironically, an Ontario judge found Lapierre not guilty in September 2001 of sex charges involving the same complainant as in the Quebec charges.

The charges in Quebec arose from the OPP Project Truth investigation, which was created in 1998 to investigate allegations prominent people in the Cornwall area sexually assaulted young people.

The news of Lapierre’s failed appeal and incarceration was made public through a press release issued by the diocese.

Durocher said the decision to issue a press relase on the matter is in line with his goal of maintaining transparency as much as possible. “It’s the first time one of our priests goes to jail,” he said. ID- 234931

Judge delays verdict in priest case

Friday, November 02, 2001

Canoe News

By BRIAN DALY– Canadian Press

MONTREAL (CP) — A judge agreed to delay his verdict Friday in the sexual-assault trial of a Roman Catholic priest accused of molesting a 13-year-old boy in the 1960s.

Quebec court Judge Gilles Garneau put aside his expected ruling to hear further defence arguments Dec. 11 in the case against Rev. Paul Lapierre, 73, of Montreal.

Lapierre faces one count of indecent assault and one of gross indecency.

The complainant, now a lawyer in his 40s, testified that he was forced into fellatio with Lapierre and another priest, Rene Dube of Cornwall, Ont., on a visit to Montreal in 1965.

But defence lawyer Julio Peris argued that the acquittal on Wednesday of Dube, a co-defendant in the trial, casts doubt on the alleged victim’s story.

He added that two days was not enough time for him to consider the effect of Dube’s acquittal on the case against Lapierre.

Garneau granted Peris five weeks to draft his arguments, prompting the grim-faced plaintiff to storm out of the courtroom.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my 18 years as a lawyer,” said the middle-aged man, adding that he’s gone through “a life in waiting” during the four-year police investigation and subsequent trial.

The alleged victim has been at the centre of two recent Ontario Provincial Police investigations into the alleged abuse of children in Cornwall.

The operation, called Project Truth, concerned allegations that public leaders in the eastern Ontario city, including clergy and school employees, abused children as far back as the 1960s. Police brought 115 criminal charges against 15 individuals but most of the charges were dropped.

Ontario Provincial Police concluded in August that there was no evidence a pedophile ring ever existed in Cornwall. Project Truth was the fourth investigation into alleged ritualistic sex abuse in the Cornwall area. Three previous investigations — two by Cornwall police in 1993 and a followup by the OPP in 1994 — failed to result in any charges.

[ note:  Father Lapierre faced sex abuse charges in both the province of Quebec and Cornwall, Ontario following allegations by the same victim.  In Quebec Lapierre was eventually found guilty.  In Cornwall he was acquitted]

Priest’s acquittal sparks outrage: Judge finds ‘ring of truth’ in accuser’s testimony but not enough to convict

The Ottawa Citizen

13 September 2001 Pati Edgar

Angry Cornwall residents shouted at a defence lawyer yesterday minutes after his client, a retired priest, was acquitted of sexually assaulting a boy in the 1960s.

Just after 4 p.m., Justice Paul Lalonde acquitted Roman Catholic priest Paul Lapierre, 72, of three counts of indecent assault and two counts of gross indecency.

While the accuser’s testimony had the “ring of truth,” Judge Lalonde said the crown did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was Father Lapierre who had sexually assaulted him.

“As we can see by the world events we saw yesterday, in our haste to punish we must not hurt the innocent,” he said, referring to recent terrorist attacks in the U.S.

When Justice Lalonde announced the verdict, the accuser, a middle- aged lawyer from Quebec, stormed out of the courtroom accompanied by his crying wife. Others followed him.

The retired priest was lead out a rear door of the courthouse following the verdict. However, one of his lawyers, Don Johnson, met briefly with reporters.

“He believes in the system of justice,” said Mr. Johnson, referring to Father Lapierre.

Upset residents of Cornwall and Ottawa, some Catholic, yelled at Mr. Johnson as he walked away from the courthouse.

“It’s open season on kids and it has been that way for a long time in Cornwall,” said Carson Chisholm. “Unless you have unlimited resources … you aren’t going to win these cases.”

Mr. Lapierre’s trial was the result of an Ontario Provincial Police investigation called Project Truth into an alleged high- profile pedophile ring in Cornwall. The four-year investigation produced more than 100 charges against 15 men, but concluded that there was no ring of people in the area working together. One woman, who can’t be named because her son testified as an alleged victim in a sexual abuse trial that was stayed in March, was crying outside the courthouse yesterday. “My son is not going through that again if I can help it. What’s the point if they are going to get off?”

“No justice,” said Ellen Vanneste, who has been following accusations of sexual assault in Cornwall for nearly ten years.

“I can’t see any of these victims get justice in our courts today.” Six of the men charged under Project Truth are awaiting trial. Four others have died of natural causes and two more have committed suicide. The charge against Keith Jodoin, a former Cornwall justice of the peace, was dropped. It was determined there was no prospect of conviction.

Charges against Lionel Carriere were dismissed after he suffered a debilitating stroke. The latest Project Truth trial began Sept. 4.

Father Lapierre’s accuser took the stand and described at least three years of sexual abuse at the hands of the priest that he says began when he was a 12-year-old with problems at home.

Under cross-examination while testifying in his own defence, Father Lapierre repeatedly denied taking part in a sex ring, but said priests in the tightly knit diocese, along with others, confided in him over the years about the sexual abuse of boys in Eastern Ontario.

In rendering his decision on the trial, Judge Lalonde said Father Lapierre’s accuser had obviously gone through “hell” to bring the case to trial.

“No doubt he was abused and that abuse took away years of his life,” he said. But he wasn’t convinced “beyond a reasonable doubt” as required by law, that it was Father Lapierre who had abused him.

The decision did not surprise Garry Guzzo, a former judge turned MPP who has personally investigated the alleged pedophile ring over the past five years.

Many sexually assault cases come down to the word of the victim against that of the accused, he said. “I spent 11 years on the bench and many times I acquitted people when I was sure they were 90 or 95 per cent guilty.”

Man describes abuse by ‘nice, gentle’ priest

The Ottawa Citizen

05 September 2001

Patti Edgar

Yesterday, a greying, middle-aged man fidgeted on the witness stand as he described being naked and alone as a child in a bedroom with a “very nice, very gentle” priest.

The man, who can’t be named due to a publication ban, was testifying at the trial of retired Roman Catholic priest Paul Lapierre, who faces two counts of gross indecency and three counts of indecent assault. Father Lapierre, 72, has pleaded not guilty.

This is the third criminal trial under Project Truth, an investigation into allegations of child abuse in Cornwall, about 100 kilometres southeast of Ottawa.

It was the first day of a trial expected to last 10 days.

Yesterday, Father Lapierre’s accuser described at least three years of sexual abuse.

He says it occurred at the hands of a priest in his hometown and began when he was in Grade 6 and 11 or 12 years old.

“Let’s say he knew how to go about getting you, ensnaring you,” said the man, who described Father Lapierre as a gentle man with a sympathetic ear for a young boy with a troubled home life.

Facing a courtroom of area residents and reporters, the man said his first sexual encounter with Father Lapierre was in a pilgrimage home that was a popular weekend retreat in Alexandria.

When they arrived at the retreat, Father Lapierre lead him into a room decorated with tribal masks and they performed fellatio on each other, said the man.

The man testified he was introduced to Father Lapierre by Roch Landry, another man charged under Project Truth who died before his trial. He said Mr. Landry had sexually abused him.

Perry Dunlop, a former Cornwall police officer, also briefly testified at the trial that continues today.