Ritual/sexual abuse case in Cornwall, ON, Canada
What really happened in Cornwall?
What really happened in Cornwall?
Sexual activity between adults and children have occurred and continue to
occur in Cornwall, as in every other city in North America. However, we have
always suspected that neither:
||Ritual abuse of children by adults, nor
||Sexual abuse by adults in a sex-ring
have happened in that city.
We wrote the following in 2006-FEB, before the revelations of a massive hoax
The city was rife with conspiracy theories, claims, counter-claims,
accusations and denials. Some apparent facts are:
||In 1992, a former altar boy accused a local priest of
sexual abuse. He went to the Church chancery, seeking an apology.
None was forthcoming, so he went to the police. When the dust settled, Bishop LaRocque approved payment of $32,000
(CDN) in 1993 to the alleged victim in exchange for not filing criminal
charges. This would be have been worth about $21,000 in U.S. funds at the time.
||A Cornwall Police officer, stumbled across the police file on this
case. He felt that a crime had been committed, and that it should be pursued. He
turned the file over to the local Children's Aid Society. He
was verbally attacked by persons within and without the Cornwall
Police. His family received death threats. He suspected that
there were many victims of sexual abuse that had been quietly settled
without criminal charges having been laid. (The officer has since
relocated to British Columbia.)
||According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Roman Catholic Bishop Eugene
LaRocque held a news conference in which he admitted that "part of the deal was
to halt the criminal investigation. He called it morally unjust. The CBC report
"Later, police laid charges of obstruction of justice
against the lawyer who brokered the deal. The lawyer pleaded guilty
to the charge of interfering with a criminal investigation but he
was given an absolute discharge. Since those early days, dozens of
people have come forward with new stories of abuse. Some are suing
the church and again, there have been cash offers. One person has
settled and others are thinking about it, as they wait to testify in
criminal court about their sexual abuse." 1
||Two internal investigations by the Cornwall Police, in 1992 and 1993, uncovered no evidence
of organized sex-rings or sex orgies involving children or youths.|
||An initial investigation by the OPP in 1994 also found no
||Some local residents conducted their own investigation and
uncovered enough evidence to prompt a second
investigation by the OPP, called Project Truth. |
||Project Truth started in 1997 and was finally closed in
2001-AUG. It was
led by Det. Supt. Jim Miller of the OPP. For
two years, the Project ran ads in local media asking for victims to
disclose sexual abuse to the police. Dozens did. The OPP interviewed
672 individuals and identified 69 complainants. But no evidence
of a sex ring surfaced. There were
no instances where one perpetrator was accused by more than one
victim. Also, most of the accused apparently did not know each other.|
||Dozens of alleged victims told their stories to the police; none
involved sheets, candles, or orgies. The only evidence alleging ritual abuse came from a single sworn
affidavit by Ron
||The Ontario Provincial Police laid 115 sexual abuse charges
against 14 (some sources say 15) adult males, including four Roman Catholic "priests, a former butcher, a
school-bus driver, and a man who owns a diner." 3 Some
were for alleged offenses as far back as the 1960s. Charges included
gross indecency, indecent assault on a male, and sexual assault on a
||In the year 2000, Roman Catholic laity formed a local group, the Catholic Laity for
||A second local group called Citizens Against Pedophiles was
founded. They circulated a petition which asks for increased penalties against child
||On 2001-MAY-29, during a (CBC) radio
news report, Roman Catholic Bishop Eugene LaRocque was named "as a key figure in a
lengthy police probe into sex abuse allegations in the eastern Ontario city, even though the bishop has never been charged."
4 LaRocque has stated that he was not in
Cornwall at the time of the alleged orgies. Only one affidavit accuses
him of wrongdoing -- those crimes allegedly happened in 1961. The
bishop said: "...in 1961 I was teaching at King's College at the University of
Western Ontario. I'd never set foot in Cornwall. I never lived in
Cornwall until 1974 when I came as bishop." 5 On
another occasion, he said: "Whoever claimed that certainly perjured himself and all I can say is
I'm innocent." 2 According to the London
Free Press, Bishop LaRocque:
||Graduated from the University of Western Ontario in London ON,
||Was ordained in 1952.
||Received a master's degree from Laval University.
||Worked as a registrar and lecturer at King's College at the
University of Western Ontario.
||Taught French and ascetical theology in St. Peter's Seminary.
||Was appointed as principal of King's College in 1966.
||Moved to Tecumseh, ON where he was the pastor of St. Anne's.
||Moved to Cornwall in 1974 where he was consecrated as Bishop of
Alexandria [-Cornwall] 6
||By 2001-AUG, only six (some sources say seven) of the 14 or 15 accused remained to be tried. Of those
originally charged, three have committed suicide; one has died from
health problems; one had his charges dropped; one was found unfit
for trial because he had suffered a
debilitating stroke; one was found not guilty; and one received a stay of proceedings.
Only one person has been convicted. Jean-Luc Leblanc,
a bus-driver, 56, pleaded guilty to 12 charges. All of the remaining
charges were dropped.|
||The Victims Group, an organization of alleged victims in
Cornwall, has official standing at the inquiry. Forty-eight individuals,
including seven women, have sworn an affidavit naming their alleged
abusers. They hope to be allowed to tell their stories in person. They
name 24 alleged abusers. Eleven are priests; four victims name one
priest. Two victims name a priest who held a high office in the Roman
Catholic diocese. Nine affidavits name Ken Seguin, a probation officer
who committed suicide after he was charged.|
It is quite impossible at this time to separate speculation from reality with certainty. However, our best guess,
as of early 1006 is that:
||In recent decades, some abusive pedophiles and hebephiles, working alone,
have each sexually abused many children and youths in Cornwall. This is not
unique to Cornwall. It is seen throughout North America.
||All of the charges involve allegations of single perpetrators
abusing under-age children and youths. No reliable evidence of a conspiracy, sex-ring,
orgiastic activity, or ritual abuse has surfaced.
||No organized sex ring exists or has existed in Cornwall.
||No ritual sexual abuse of children or youths has happened in Cornwall.
||If the police were to converge on any Ontario city of similar size to
Cornwall and mount a two year media advertising campaign to encourage
victims of sexual abuse come forward, they would probably uncover a
similar per-capita rate of child molestation.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
"Breach of Trust," CBC radio, at: http://radio.cbc.ca/
"Affidavit of Ron Leroux," Hidden Mysteries, 1996-NOV-13, at:
- Margaret Wente, "The pedophiles of Cornwall," The Globe and
Mail, Toronto ON, 2001-MAY-31, Page A15
Donna Casey, "CLERGYMAN CRIES INNOCENT; ON EVE OF MPP'S TELL-ALL LEGISLATURE SPEECH, REPORT
CITES CORNWALL BISHOP INTOWN'S SEX ABUSE PROBE," The Ottawa Sun, 2001-MAY-29, Page 2
- Kelly Egan, " 'I'm absolutely innocent,' beleaguered bishop asserts," The Ottawa
Citizen, 2001-MAY-29, Page A3.
Lori Seymour, "Bishop got theological start in London," London Free Press,
2001-MAY-30, Final Edition, Page A6.
Copyright © 2001 to 2007 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2001-MAY-31
Latest update: 2007-JUL-09
Author: B.A. Robinson