Victims of Priest's Abuse Talk of Lives Going off Rails
Rev. Konstanty Przybylski Pleaded Guilty in February to Sexual Abuse

By Kate Schwass
London Free Press [Canada]
May 13, 2006

SIMCOE -- One victim says he is "broken," while another says he feels immense shame because of the sexual abuse he suffered.

Philippe-Alexandre Lauriault and Trevor Kannawin, both 22, gave victim impact statements during the sentencing hearing of Rev. Konstanty Przybylski.

Przybylski pleaded guilty in February to sexually abusing Lauriault and Kannawin between 1995 and 2000, while he was a priest at St. Cecilia's Roman Catholic Church in Port Dover.

Przybylski has lived in London since 2000. When he was arrested nearly a year ago, he was not assigned to a parish, a spokesperson for the Diocese of London said.

A publication ban on the names of the former altar boys was lifted during the hearing Thursday in a Simcoe courtroom.

"I have lost a huge piece of my life," Lauriault said in his statement. "I am broken."

Lauriault's family moved to Port Dover and he said during his first meeting with Przybylski, the priest asked him if he'd like to be an altar boy.

Lauriault said he took day trips to London with Przybylski.

A couple of years later, "Rev. Przybylski started to take a greater interest in me," Lauriault told the court. "He would want me to hug him. . . . At first, they were normal hugs."

The hugs progressed to longer hugs, then kissing, Lauriault said.

The priest asked him if he masturbated and when Lauriault said he had, Przybylski told him it was a sin, but if they were to masturbate each other, then it would be OK.

He said the priest offered him cigarettes and alcohol and even bought him a car.

Lauriault travelled with Przybylski to Poland, Chicago and Rome. While in Rome on a trip with other St. Cecilia's parishioners, Lauriault had the opportunity many Catholics dream of -- he met the Pope.

But Lauriault said his memory of meeting Pope John Paul II is tarnished because during the trip, just minutes from the Vatican, Przybylski abused him.

"All the photos I have of meeting the Pope, Rev. Przybylski is in the back. I cannot look at those photos," he said.

Lauriault said he became dependent on alcohol and cigarettes. He went away to university and then college in Ottawa, but was never able to focus on his studies and dropped out of school.

Kannawin was quiet when he gave his victim impact statement, but he said he felt "shame" over what had happened.

He said he started to act out, getting piercings and tattoos, started smoking, wasn't able to focus on his studies when he attended Brock University and began to pull away from his family.

Przybylski's lawyer, Mike McArthur of Simcoe, questioned Kannawin about several phone calls Kannawin made to his client in November 2004.

McArthur alleged Kannawin had extorted money from Przybylski, saying if the priest didn't give him money, Kannawin would make sure he went to jail.

Kannawin admitted to trying to contact Przybylski, but said it was because he wanted to ask Przybylski why he had abused him.

Przybylski is scheduled to appear on June 6 in a Simcoe court.


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