Diocese settles three sexual abuse lawsuits involving late priest Linus Bastien

July 31, 2017

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Lawyer Robert Talach said the three victims of Linus Bastien settled for a total of less then $400,000, but the money wasn’t the point for them.

“Beyond the money they got acknowledgment and they got confirmation that the evidence overwhelmingly leads to the conclusion that Bastien did this,” said Talach, with Beckett Personal Injury Lawyers in London. “Just because the criminal part didn’t get to the end of the road, I think what this process allowed is these guys got acknowledgment that there’s no doubt in either side’s mind here that Bastien did what they say he did.”

The London diocese couldn’t be reached for comment Sunday night.

The three victims were altar boys in their early teens at St. Paul Parish in LaSalle when they were allegedly abused in the 1970s. The lawsuits were settled last week. Beckett Personal Injury Lawyers has another five lawsuits from Bastien victims that are still ongoing.

The priest was accused of sexually abusing 12 boys while serving as a priest at St. Paul, St. Charles Parish in the former Township of Tilbury East, St. Mary Parish in Maidstone and St. Joachim Parish in Lakeshore.

Bastien, 89, died in June 2016 before his trial could begin after dozens of court dates and delays following his initial arrest on Oct. 25, 2011.

Beckett Personal Injury Lawyers in London launched lawsuits in late 2015 on behalf of the three victims who were frustrated with constant delays in the criminal trial.

“They were definitely angry that the story had gone as it had until now with the church being aware of him so many years ago and just kind of quietly taking him out of circulation, then the criminal process taking so long,” said Talach.

He said the lawsuits were an effort to see some kind of justice before Bastien died. That didn’t happen but the civil cases continued.

“As a part of the litigation process, both sides had to take a close look at the facts, both with respect to the individual victims and the totality of evidence,” said Talach. “I can say confidently there is no question having done that, that Bastien was a sexual offender, that he sexually abused boys in his various parishes over the years.”

He said the perseverance of the three men to find some kind of justice is the “positive part of the story.”

“They saw that the criminal thing was coming apart,” said Talach. “They switched streams to civil — even that they waited out another year and a bit — and they got their acknowledgement. They got some compensation. I always describe it as pennies on the dollar of what they really suffered. But for them and especially their spouses who were in attendance, this was the end of a very long journey and there was quite a sense of relief all around.”


Published on July 30, 2017

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