Friday, August 4, 2017

Lawsuit by victim of Basilian priest should have a trial date soon

A $5 million lawsuit by one of the molestation victims of a Catholic priest in Sudbury will be back in court this fall to set a trial date.

The victim, now 61, was just 12 years old when he attended St. Charles College in the late 1960s, where Fr. William Hodgson Marshall was a teacher and sports coach. The sexual assaults lasted for more than a year, and, in the statement of claim, the victim says he was expelled from the school for reporting the abuse to school officials.

Marshall was convicted in 2011 of indecent assault of 15 boys and one girl, and of sexually assaulting another boy. Six of his victims are from Sudbury, while most of the others are from Toronto or Windsor. He died in 2014.

Named in the lawsuit are Marshall, the Sudbury Catholic District School Board, the Basilian Fathers, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie and Bishop Ronald Fabbro, a former head of the Basilians.

None of the allegations have been proved in court. But the suit says the school board, the diocese and the Basilians failed in their duty to protect the victim and ensure he was in a safe environment.

It alleges the Basilians failed to investigate Marshall when complaints first emerged about him, didn't remove him from his post and covered up his actions.

The suit alleges the Basilians ignored warnings and complaints from parents and staff at St. Charles, where Marshall was known as “Happy Hands Marshall” for his questionable behaviour.

“The Basilians took no steps to stop the behaviour or protect the plaintiff,” the suit alleges.  (more...)

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