Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Deathbed revelation triggers clergy sex abuse lawsuit

The estate of a late Ottawa man has launched a $2-million lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Ottawa for sexual abuse he allegedly suffered as a child in the 1960s.

The unusual statement of claim was filed last month on behalf of the man, whom the Citizen will identify only as John Doe. He died at the age of 63 in November 2014.

According to the claim, Doe was a victim of Rev. Jean Gravel, a Catholic priest at Ottawa’s Saint-RĂ©mi Parish.

Gravel pleaded guilty in September 1967 to charges of gross indecency involving two teenaged boys and resisting arrest.

The new court document contends that Doe was one of those teenaged victims.

Doe’s widow said her husband of 23 years did not tell her about the abuse until he was on his deathbed. He was in hospital for the final month of his life with pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable lung disease.

Only when she asked him about whether he was scared did her husband break down and relate his long-buried story.

“I need to tell you something,” he began. The story poured out over the next two hours.  (more...)

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