February 25, 2005

$3.1 million civil suits allege abuse by priest

Toronto Star


CORNWALL, Ont.—Two civil lawsuits filed in London, Ont., allege sexual improprieties at the hands of a former Cornwall priest who was cleared of sex abuse charges more than two years ago.

In two separate statements of claim filed Friday, the two victims allege sexual abuse by Rev. Charles MacDonald when they were 11 and 20 years old and are each suing for $3.1 million.

Also named in the suit are the Roman Catholic Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall, Eugene LaRocque, the former bishop of the diocese, and current bishop Paul-André Durocher.

The allegations have not been proven in court and corresponding statements of defence have yet to be filed.

When reached at his home in Glen Robertson yesterday, MacDonald acknowledged the lawsuits and had no further comment.

MacDonald was charged with seven sex abuse counts in 1996 and another six in 1998. The charges related to alleged assaults on boys, some of them altar boys, between 1967 and 1983.

Posted by kshaw at February 25, 2005 06:38 PM