Diocese Of London Pays Sex Abuse Victims

February 5, 2011

Beckett Personal Injury Office In Downtown London's article image

Glendinning accused of molesting local boy

A Roman Catholic diocese in Ontario has quietly settled 10 sexual abuse lawsuits in the past month, paying out more than $1.5 million in connection to allegations dating back more than 50 years.

All of the settlements involve male victims who allege they were repeatedly molested by two priests from the Diocese of London at parishes across Southwestern Ontario.

The victims, who are now in their 60s and 70s, launched individual lawsuits last year, said London-based lawyer Robert Talach on Friday.

"The book never really truly closes, but this is definitely a big step toward closure for some of them," he said. "Some of the gentlemen I dealt with waited half a century before they really spoke this aloud to anyone else. Coming out after all those years, it just goes to the fact to show how traumatic it is, that you wouldn't breathe a word of it for five decades."

The settlements were quickly reached between Talach and diocese officials following two days of negotiations. They range from around $100,000 to $315,000.

The diocese said it was "pleased" to reach the settlements, and urged others who are victims of historical sexual abuse to continue to come forward.

"We are committed to living up to our responsibilities and obligations to victims of sexual misconduct in the search for justice and truth," said Mark Adkinson, a spokesman with the Diocese of London in an email. "We are sorry for all of the hurt these and other victims have experienced. We continue to offer counselling to all victims of sexual misconduct by clergy."

Most of the cases involve Rev. Lawrence (Laurent) Paquette, a priest who died in 1986 before these allegations were officially brought forward.

The sexual abuse occurred at various parishes Paquette worked at since he was ordained in 1943, with the majority in Grande Pointe, a small francophone community in Chatham-Kent.

The victims allege the sexual abuse was repeated over a period as long as two years while some of the boys were as young as 11.

Meanwhile, one of the other lawsuits involves Rev. Barry Glendinning and a sexual abuse claim on a boy who was then 15, in the mid-1960s in Windsor.

This isn't the first molestation claim brought forward against the priest.

In 1974, Glendinning was convicted in relation to six counts of sexual abuse but continued to work across Southwestern Ontario.

In 2004, a lawsuit naming him and the diocese resulted in a $1.4-million judgment for three brothers who were victimized by the priest as boys.

Glendinning was defrocked in 2006 or 2007 and is believed to be living in Toronto.

Talach said the effects of the abuse still linger for many of his clients, many whom have kept the abuse and the litigation a secret, even from their own spouses.

"Many dealt with drug, alcohol abuse, attempted suicides, educational and vocational failings," he said. "A lot of them stood out like a sore thumb from the accomplishments of their siblings, so clearly they had been struggling lifelong from the effects of the abuse.

"The bottom line is that it's too little, too late, but it's better than nothing."

Talach is still dealing with at least 200 more lawsuits in-volving sexual abuse claims against Roman Catholic clergy from Nova Scotia to Saskatchewan. More than a dozen of them involve the Diocese of London.

Last month, Eric Dejaeger, 63, returned to Canada to face six abuse charges allegedly committed on boys at least 30 years ago while he was a Roman Catholic priest in Nunavut.

He had been living in Belgium for the last 15 years.

In May 2009, the church paid a $1.745-million settlement to a victim of former Windsor priest Charles Sylvestre. He died in January 2007 while serving a sentence for sexual assault after 47 women came forward with allegations of sexual abuse.

When Do I Need to Involve a Lawyer in My Insurance Claim?

October 24, 2022

When Do I Need to Involve a Lawyer in My Insurance Claim?

Do you know when you would need a personal injury lawyer to help with your insurance claim? Our latest blog breaks it down.

Read More
Experienced a Slip and Fall Accident? A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

October 3, 2022

Experienced a Slip and Fall Accident? A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

A slip and fall accident can have major consequences in various aspects of your life. While there is nothing that can undo the suffering that you have experienced, a personal injury lawyer can help to fight for compensation that you are entitled to as a result of your injuries.

Read More
Going To Trial vs. Settling In A Personal Injury Case

August 22, 2022

Going To Trial vs. Settling In A Personal Injury Case

In the event of legal dispute, is it better to go to trial or settle? Every case is unique, but our blog can help your learn about the advantages of either option.

Read More