Beckett Personal Injury Office In Downtown London

March 4, 2013

Updated: Former Windsor Priest Sentenced to House Arrest for 6 Months

by Sarah Sacheli, The Windsor Star

Demonstrators march in front of the Ontario Court of Justice, Monday, March 4, 2013 in Windsor, Ont. They assembled for the sentencing of retired priest William Hodgson Marshall. (DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star)

William Hodgson Marshall, the disgraced former Catholic priest who sexually abused children for decades, has been sentenced to six months of house arrest after pleading guilty in Ontario court Monday morning to the sexual assault of two victims in Saskatchewan in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Marshall will serve the sentence at the Cardinal Flahiff Basilian Centre in Toronto, where he currently resides.

Marshall, who is on parole after his conviction for the sexual assaults of 17 other victims in Windsor, Sudbury and Toronto, told the judge he is "not a monster" after he was asked if he had anything to say before being sentenced.

"I pray for these kids everyday," Marshall added.

Marshall, 90, was sentenced in June 2011 to two years in a federal penitentiary. He has been on parole since October. Defence lawyer Andrew Bradie said, because the Saskatechewan charges were still before the courts, Marshall's parole was delayed for five months.

That delay should count toward his sentence on these charges, Bradie argued. He said, had the Saskatchewan abuses been known at the time of Marshall's 2011 sentencing, the charges would have been rolled into his sentence.

But assistant Crown attorney George Spartinos said Marshall's case calls for real jail, not house arrest.

"He's not in a position to commit further offenced, but the courts have said this type of behaviour needs to be denounced."

The courtroom was packed with Marshall's other victims and victims of other priests. More than 70 of them gathered outside the courthouse before the hearing began. The protesters carried placards bearing slogans like 'Sex Crime = Real Time' and 'Stop the secrets — Speak out against sexual abuse.'

Marshall, a Basilian priest and former Windsor high school teacher, was sentenced in June of 2011 to two years in prison for sexually abusing 16 boys and one woman at Catholic high schools across Ontario.

Rev. William Hodgson Marshall makes his way to the Superior Court building in Windsor, Ont. in this June 2011 file photo. (Dan Janisse / The Windsor Star)

The incidents happened in Toronto, Sudbury and Windsor over more than three decades — from 1952 to 1985.

In Windsor, Marshall was a teacher, sports coach and eventually principal at Assumption and Holy Names high schools.

He pleaded guilty to the charges.

Inside the courtroom, Marshall pleaded guilty to abusing two teenaged boys in Saskatchewan in 1959 and 1961. Marshall was a gym teacher at an all-boys' school in Saskatoon. The two instances of abuse involved Marshall groping the two boys' genitals.

More to come.

Demonstrators march in front of the Ontario Court of Justice, Monday, March 4, 2013 in Windsor, Ont. They assembled for the sentencing of retired priest William Hodgson Marshall. (DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star)

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