Abuse victim says he was ‘passed around’ by attackers

Cornwall Standard Freeholder

01 December 2006

Terri Saunders

Front Page – 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 he believes eight men he says sexually abused him – five of whom were area priests – 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.

“Do you believe a clan of pedophiles was working in Cornwall?” asked Lee.

“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, Rev. Ken Martin and Rev. Paul Lapierre, and the musician, Sandy Lawrence, were acquitted, but Lapierre was eventually convicted of similar offences in Montreal. The priest was sentenced to a year in jail which he began serving in September of this year.