Friday, October 7, 2016

Son of late Grenville headmaster arrested for sex assault

The son of the late headmaster of a now-defunct private Christian school in eastern Ontario, which is subject to a $225-million abuse lawsuit, has been charged with sexual assault and indecent exposure.

Ontario Provincial Police allege the offences occurred against a single victim in 1986 and 1987. To protect the anonymity of the alleged victim, OPP Sgt. Angie Atkinson would not confirm or deny any connection to the school, which was called Grenville Christian College. She would only say that police believe the crimes took place in Grenville County, northeast of Kingston.

Robert Farnsworth, 49, was arrested on Wednesday and appeared in a Brockville courtroom the following day. Donald Farnsworth, one of the long-time headmaster’s other sons and a former teacher at the school, confirmed to the Star on Thursday that the man arrested is his brother.

“I can’t really talk any more about it. We’ll let the legal system take care of it,” he said.

From 1973 to its closure in 2007, Grenville Christian College billed itself as a prestigious boarding school for girls and boys, with a scenic campus near the shoreline of the St. Lawrence River, just east of Brockville. The class action lawsuit, which was certified in 2014, features more than 180 plaintiffs who attended the school between 1973 and 1997. Their statement of claim alleges that, as Grenville students, they were subject to arbitrary discipline, bizarre religious practices and systemic abuse that left them “sexually, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually traumatized.”  (more...)


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