Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Insurance lawsuit reveals secrets of Ottawa's clergy abuse scandal

Documents filed by the Archdiocese of Ottawa as part of an insurance lawsuit disclose substantial new information about the history and scope of Ottawa’s clergy sex abuse scandal.

The scandal began to unfold in the mid-1980s, but the number of victims in this city has remained a closely guarded secret.

The diocese will reveal neither how many sexual abuse victims it has compensated, nor how much it has paid them.

Documents filed in the recent insurance suit, however, make credible estimates possible.

A Citizen analysis of court records, newspaper files and Sylvia’s Site — a website devoted to tracking the church sex abuse scandal in Canada — reveals there have been at least 41 acknowledged victims of clergy sexual abuse in the Ottawa diocese.

Eleven priests who worked in the diocese have been connected to sexual abuse through criminal and civil actions, the Citizen’s analysis shows. That total includes three previously unreported cases.

The diocese’s historic silence has meant that understanding the full scope of the sex abuse scandal in the Ottawa diocese is difficult since some cases have been prosecuted in criminal courts, while others have been settled privately in civil actions.

The Archdiocese of Ottawa was asked to produce its own victim numbers, but it declined.  (more...)

More coverage:

Rev. Barry McGrory in 1975.

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