Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Man claims he was sexually assaulted by former principal of St. Michael's College School


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Peter Luci loaded his father’s shotgun into the trunk of his car, drove to St. Michael’s College School, and sat in the parking lot.

His eyes fixed on the front door, he was waiting to kill Father Leo Campbell.

“He looks like a regular person, but he’s not,” says Luci. “He’s a monster. He’s a predator. He really, really is. And he’s wearing the cloth of God.”

What spurred Luci to drive to St. Michael’s was years of sexual assault he tells CityNews he endured at Fr. Campbell’s hand, while Luci was a high school student in the early 1980s.

“He taught me how to give him a blow job… I didn’t know anything about this, I was a child,” Luci reveals. “When I think about it you know, smells come back to me, and textures.”

“It’s really important for me to talk about this, for myself and for others.”

For the last year, CityNews has been investigating reports of sexual assault by Fr. Campbell and other members of an order of Catholic priests, known as the Basilians, whose headquarters are in Toronto. We will be telling their stories in a multi-part series, online and in broadcast, beginning today. The order’s calling is to teach, and they operate or staff schools and universities across Canada and into the United States and South America.

Father Leo Fr. Campbell became a member of the Congregation of St. Basil in 1965, and a fully ordained priest in 1973. He worked as a teacher or principal at multiple schools then run by the Basilians, including Michael Power, St. Basil the Great, and St. Michael’s College School in Toronto.

In 1980, Peter Luci and his brother moved from Toronto to Sault Ste. Marie, to live with relatives after his family had fallen on difficult times. Peter was 15, and he started grade nine at St. Mary’s College, a high school run by the Basilians.

“My father was in Italy, my mother was in Toronto, we were in the Sault. It was a tough time, especially for a kid,” Luci says. Campell was at St. Mary’s, teaching English and theology. When the priest started paying special attention to him, he was initially pleased.

“When I went to the school, he knew my situation,” Luci says. “He knew my parents weren’t there. He was aware of all this information. And I was vulnerable, and I was looking for it. […] Looking back, he was grooming me from the very beginning.”  (more...)

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