Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Sarnia man launches $3-million lawsuit against the Diocese of London

Derek Trepanier, of Sarnia, shows a school photo of himself during his time
at the former Father Gerald LaBelle Catholic School in Corunna.
Inside a small-town confessional, Derek Trepanier said he was handed a secret he'd keep with him for close to 20 years.

That secret would quietly eat away at him, rob him of a chance to become a teacher, and poison his sleep with nightmares.

But for the life of him, Trepanier said he just couldn't put his finger on what that secret exactly was until his son David was born in 2012.

“When my child was born, we had a conversation about sending him to church or Catholic school, and I was dead set against it,” the now 34-year-old Sarnia man recalled. “I was so intense with it and (my partner) Lori kept asking me, 'What's going on? I need to know what's happening.'”

And that's when he said the memories started to slowly flood back – months of sexual abuse and exploitation at the hands of Father Gary Roy during his time at St. Joseph's parish and the former Father Gerald Labelle Catholic School in Corunna.

“I'm just starting to understand how it's affected me, just starting to,” said Trepanier, now a personal supporter worker.

But his chance to finally hold Roy to account has slipped through his fingers.

The priest died in 2001, just years after he pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault involving other young men in the early 1980s.  (more...)

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