Monday, December 21, 2020

The Inquiry reveals Cornwall's history of sexual abuse against boys


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In the 1980s Canadians were shocked into awareness of the widespread evil of child sexual abuse. Before that era, child sexual abuse was never considered a public health issue; it was thought of by decent people—if thought of at all—as an evil associated with obviously dissolute monsters. Certainly not something any "respectable" citizen would ever do. The sickening truth began to spill out, first in a trickle, then in a torrent we have yet to come fully to terms with.

In Ontario the town name of Cornwall (in particular, but also Prescott and London) became synonymous with an alleged pedophile ring of exactly those "respectable" men considered society's most trustworthy citizens—lawyers, teachers, doctors, police officers and Catholic clergymen—that for decades preyed on young boys to whom they had easy access because of their high-trust positions.

The story began in 1994 with an altar boy's charge that he had been abused by a priest. It broadened into the Ontario Provincial Police-led Project Truth, which in turn raised so many questions that it morphed into the $53 million Cornwall Inquiry. At the time—and perhaps still—this was the largest amount of money Ontario ever assigned to a public inquiry.

The Inquiry involved four years of hearings, 167 witnesses, 3,640 written exhibits, 115 charges laid against 15 men—yet produced only one conviction.  (more...)

The Inquiry reveals Cornwall's history of sexual abuse against boys

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