Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bishop Lahey Admits Possession of Child Pornography, Father Marshall Goes to Prison for Child Sex Abuse

Bishop Lahey proceeding to the Ottawa court
through a throng of journalists

Photo courtesy: The Montreal Gazette

Bishop Raymond Lahey, 70, on May 4, pleaded guilty to importation and possession of child pornography and voluntarily offered himself to live in Ottawa prison while waiting for his sentence hearing on June 24. He faces a minimum mandatory sentence of one year in prison and a maximum of ten years, reports The Catholic Register of Toronto.

Raymond Lahey, the former Bishop of Antigonish Diocese in Nova Scotia province, was arrested in late September, 2009 and later released on bail when he landed in Ottawa Airport after his travels to several countries in Asia and Europe infamous for child-sex tourism and production of child pornography. In the initial check of his laptop computer, some of the pornographic images caught the attention of some customs inspectors.
Later, during the elaborate forensic investigation of his laptop, separate hard drives and USB devices, police detectives found a total of 588 pornographic images and 60 videos where young boys, as young as 8 to 10 years, engaged in sexual acts with each other as well as with adult males. Besides, there were a number of visual stories showing adults sexually humiliating, degrading and torturing young boys.

Bishop’s defense counsel Michael Edelson told the court that day, “My client feels very deeply and profoundly remorseful for what he has done. He is asking to be incarcerated this morning to signal to the court the sincerity and genuineness of his remorse.”

The Vatican, in a statement, condemned sexual exploitation in all its forms, particularly, crimes against minors. The statement also said, “Although the civil process has run its course, the Holy See will continue to follow the canonical procedures in effect for such cases, which will result in the imposition of the appropriate disciplinary or penal measures.”
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), in a statement, condemned “all forms of sexual exploitation, especially involving minors.” It also said, “It continues to work to prevent such behavior and to bring healing to the victims and their families.”

Bishop Raymond Lahey is believed to have been involved in possessing other forms of child pornography for many years, even from his priesthood days.

Father William Hodgson Marshall of Windsor, Ontario, Jailed for Child Sex Abuse

Father William Hodgson Marshall in Windsor
on the day of his sentencing

Photo courtesy:

In another case in Windsor of Ontario province, Father William Hodgson Marshall, 88, a retired priest – who was a math teacher and basketball coach in Catholic schools – has been sentenced to two years in prison for a number of sexual assaults against boys, dating back to the 1950s, reports the CBC News.

A member of the Congregation of St. Basil, also commonly known as Basilian Fathers, Father Marshall pleaded guilty on June 8 in the court to 17 counts of sexual assaults against 16 boys and one woman in Toronto, Windsor, Cambridge and Sudbury of Ontario. Between 1952 and 1986, Father Marshall molested his victims in their homes and in schools and churches.

After his two-year prison term, Father Marshall’s name will be added to the sex-offender registry and his DNA sample will be taken by police for future reference.

In the court, it was also revealed that Father Marshall himself was a victim of sexual abuse by a teacher when he was nine years old.

After his guilty plea, the Basilian Fathers, through their spokesman Father Timothy Scott, issued a statement saying, “The Basilian Fathers wish to express our deep shame that one of our members has acted this way. These criminal acts against children are a violation of our religious vows and are grievously sinful…This should never have happened,” reports the Toronto Star.

For about 60 years, none of the victims reported Father Marshall’s sexual abuses. Only in May of 2010, a 43-year-old Windsor man was the first person to lodge a complaint with the police. Then other victims came forward with theirs.

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