Christian Brother Faces New Abuse Claim
Victoria Man Says He Was Molested by a Teacher Later Convicted in Mount Cashel Scandal

By Jill Mahoney
Globe and Mail
October 1, 2007

A British Columbia man has filed a lawsuit alleging he was sexually and physically abused by a Christian Brother who was convicted of assaulting young boys at the Mount Cashel orphanage in Newfoundland.

The suit alleges that the man was molested at two Catholic schools in Burnaby, B.C., between 1978 and the early 1980s - after the Mount Cashel abuses took place and before they received public attention.

The statement of claim, which was filed in the B.C. Supreme Court on Thursday, names Christian Brother Edward English, the Congregation of Christian Brothers and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver.

According to the document, which contains allegations that have not been proven in court, the plaintiff was fondled, masturbated and beaten on the bare buttocks with a leather belt.

How Bill Davis came to see the light

"The Church or the Brothers or both of them knew or ought to have known that English was a sexual predator and had a history of abusing children," the statement of claim says.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese said he was not aware of the lawsuit and could not comment. Mr. English's whereabouts are unknown.

In 1991, Mr. English was sentenced to 12 years in jail on 13 charges of indecent assault, gross indecency and assault causing bodily harm for abusing boys between the ages of eight and 14 at Mount Cashel, where he was a supervisor between 1973 and 1975. An additional year was later added to his sentence for convictions on two other related charges.

In late 1975, a Newfoundland deputy minister of justice ordered Mr. English and another Christian Brother also accused of sexual abuse to leave the province.

No criminal charges were laid at the time. The two men were transferred to Ontario and Massachusetts and received counselling and therapy.

The case was reopened in the late 1980s and several Christian Brothers were charged with abusing boys at Mount Cashel.

During the time of the alleged B.C. assaults, Mr. English taught Sunday school at St. Michael's School in Burnaby and was a teacher at St. Thomas More Collegiate in Burnaby, according to the court document.

In September 1978, the plaintiff began Grade 7 at St. Michael's, where Mr. English provided religious education to the altar boys. During that time, the suit alleges, the plaintiff was repeatedly sexually and physically abused by Mr. English.

The lawsuit says that in September 1980, the plaintiff entered Grade 8 at St. Thomas More Collegiate, where Mr. English was his homeroom teacher.

The boy was also repeatedly sexually and physically assaulted during that year, the statement of claim alleges. The suit also says that he reported the sexual abuse to three other Christian Brothers, but that none acted on the allegations.

According to the court document, the plaintiff, who is now 40 and lives in Victoria, has attempted suicide, has trouble getting and keeping jobs, suffers alcohol and drug addictions, is depressed, cannot enter a school or church, and has post-traumatic stress disorder.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.