Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Victims of Cornwall pedophiles vindicated - update

Justice Normand Glaude, who was entrusted with the responsibility of directing the inquiry into the "historic sexual abuse" of children (now adults) by a group of men in Cornwall, has finally released his report. He notes that systemic failures were found in a number of local institutions' response to allegations that crimes were committed by a "pedophile ring" whose members also colluded in suppressing evidence and discouraging investigation.

"Institutions were ill-equipped to deal with allegations about their own employees," Mr. Glaude said Tuesday during a press conference. "Institutions tended to try to find a way out, allowing individuals to stay under ineffective conditions that failed to protect the vulnerable."

He added that institutions were reluctant to own up to their mistakes, saying they were "less concerned about victims than about public embarrassment."

here. More news items. Key dates in the inquiry.

It is interesting to note that
Marie Heinen, who was retained in September by Michael Bryant for his criminal trial defense, was also involved in the legal team for Jacques Leduc, the invidual who reportedly "took the fall" on behalf of all the other alleged pedophiles in the child sexual abusers network in Cornwall.

Shortly after Glaude delivered his report, the Roman Catholic Church responded with an apology, delivered by Paul André Durocher, the bishop with the diocese of Alexandria Cornwall. Speaking in French, Durocher apologized to all of the victims of sexual abuse committed by priests. He said he would offer counselling to the victims to help them heal and rebuild their lives.

Why did the bishop wait for Justice Glaude to present the result of the inquiry and his recommendations? Could he not have apologized in advance of his diocese being named as one of the institutions that turned a blind eye to the concerns of the victims and their families? Or was he hoping that no mention would be made about how the Catholic Church facilitated the abuse by allowing members of its organization, against whom complaints had been lodged, to continue to have contact with children?

Justice Glaude also ...

criticized the OPP for the way it approached and communicated about the Project Truth investigation. He suggested Project Truth was a narrow, incomplete investigation of individual cases that could not have found out whether the ring existed because it did not look for those connections. He also suggested it was designed simply to disprove a theory of what happened that was brought forward by former Cornwall police officer Perry Dunlop.

And he said it was not surprising that the public was confused after police told the media that six men arrested in Project Truth were lifelong friends who shared victims, but there was no evidence of a pedophile ring.

He added that the Ministry of the Attorney General "fuelled public concerns" when it lost a binder of information about the case provided by Dunlop — an incident he said was "not acceptable."

It has been suggested that one of the reasons that this inquiry cost so much is that individuals and many of the institutions mentioned did not provide responses in a timely manner. Some used delaying tactics such as publication bans. Had Justice Glaude the authority to do so, he should have charged some of them with obstruction of justice. The institutions that he named in his judicial report include the:
  • Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
    Cornwall Community Police Service.
    Ontario Provincial Police.
    Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall.
    Children's Aid Society.
    Upper Canada District School Board.
  • Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario.
    Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General.

More here, including a link to the full judicial report.

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