Ritual/sexual abuse case in Cornwall, ON, Canada
Comparison of Cornwall rumors to other ritual abuse cases:
There have been dozens of MVMO (Multi-Victim, Multi-Offenders) cases in North
America since the early 1980's. Most have fallen into one of two types:
Those similar to the McMartin pre-school
hoax, involving nursery school teachers engaging in mass sexual and
ritual abuse of pre-schoolers, or
Those similar to the Wenatchee sex-rings
hoax, involving an organized sex abuse ring of adults from the community abusing young
children on a regular basis.
In the cases that we have studied, improper interview techniques caused young children to
disclose abusive events that never happened. Convictions were often facilitated
by defective medical lab analyses. Cooler heads eventually prevailed; almost
all of the alleged perpetrators have been released from prison. However,
allegations in Cornwall do not follow the patterns of these earlier cases. The
Cornwall situation appears to be uniquely complex, involving older victims and
allegations of police and government incompetence and cover-ups.
Cornwall is a town of 47,000 in eastern Ontario Canada, on the north shore of the St.
Lawrence river/seaway. Surprisingly, it is quite close to
Prescott, Ontario which is the location of another ritual abuse case whose
validity has not yet been established. Cornwall is directly across the river from Massena, NY.
As of mid-2007, charges and
countercharges of a multigenerational sex ring had widely circulated for over five years.
This ring, locally called "the clan" allegedly involves community leaders engaged in ephebophilia (sexual
abusing of older, under-age male teens), and ritual abuse over an interval of many decades. The alleged victims are older than is
typical in previous MVMO cases. One police investigation took five years, 670
people were questioned. 114 criminal
charges were laid. There were rumors that 15 of the city's most high-profile figures were
accused of sex-related charges. These included doctors, lawyers, justice
officials and Roman Catholic priests. Many of the charges were abandoned because
of long delays in the investigations.
The study produced only one conviction for abuse. However, there was no evidence
that he was associated with an organized sex-ring. Three of the alleged
perpetrators have committed suicide. There are allegations that the Roman
Catholic church paid hush money to at least one victim. There are accusations of
a cover-up, perpetrated by the local police, by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), and even
by the office of the Attorney General of Ontario.
Most sexual molestation cases involve
a single perpetrator abusing one child or youth at a time. Sex rings are
extremely rare. Sex-rings involving abusive ephebophiles (adults having sex with
post-pubertal youth) are even rarer.
Ephebophilia sex-rings involving ritual abuse are probably even less common. We
have never uncovered such a case previously.
The story according to some Cornwall residents:
Elements of the story differ among the various sources. As a result of
revelations in mid-2007, none of the following allegations seem to have any validity.
Some frequently mentioned
||Every Friday night, for many decades, Roman Catholic priests, lawyers,
probation officers, police officers, businessmen, and
other leaders of the Cornwall community would meet with selected
church altar boys. The boys would be subjected to ritual abuse.
||Allegations of ritual abuse are reported to have come
from a single 1996 sworn affidavit by Ron Leroux (1947-), a painting contractor now living in Maine.
witnessed a 'clan' of pedophiles...During this party, I observed a ceremonious ritual of
candles in the altar boys' rectums with sheets over them. These altar boys
were walking around with the candle in the rectum and the sheet over them
with no clothes on, during this ceremony, several members of the clergy
were fondling these young boys, and molesting them....I have witnessed sexual improprieties -- molestation, fondling, oral
sex, intercourse (anal) between the above mentioned clan members
and minors." 1
||This sex-ring is believed to be multi-layered, highly organized, and
||Since the perpetrators were in positions of power in the community,
they were able to manipulate the system so that they were never
Some in Cornwall believe that there was a recruitment ring that passed
young victims from one rapist to another.
||Some suggest that pornographic videos were
taken showing both the abusers and the victims, but the Ontario Provincial
Police destroyed them.
When a victim complained to the police, a cover-up was initiated so
that the abuse could continue. The cover-up extended to the Cornwall
police, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), and perhaps even
to the office of the Attorney General of the province.
||This concealment has resulted in few criminal trials and no
The following information source was used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.
Affidavit of Ron Leroux," Hidden Mysteries, 1996-NOV-13, at:
"A worthwhile investigation," Editorial, Ottawa Citizen, 2006-FEB-16.
Reprinted in the Toronto Star, 2005-FEB-17, Page A22.
Copyright © 2001 to 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2001-MAY-31
Latest update: 2011-SEP-20
Author: B.A. Robinson