|Six Men File Lawsuit Claiming Sexual Abuse by Catholic Priest
October 28, 2008
Ahalf dozen men claiming they were molested as altar boys by a priest who served in southwestern Ontario have filed lawsuits against the Diocese of London.
The six men have each filed $2-million lawsuits against the Diocese of London in connection with alleged sexual misconduct by Father Lawrence Paquette, who died in 1986.
The allegations, which have not been proven in court, range from fondling to sex acts.
The alleged incidents took place between the mid-1950s and early 1970s.
Five of the six men claim the abuse happened while Paquette served in Grande Pointe, Ont., between 1955 and 1967.
One of the plaintiffs claims the abuse began in 1957, when he was about nine years old.
"On many occasions over the following four years, Paquette repeatedly sexually abused, assaulted and molested the plaintiff, exposed him to prurient sexual behaviour," says the statement of claim.
These actions occurred on premises owned or controlled by the diocese, the statement says.
"In order to facilitate the abuses Paquette engaged in a pattern of behaviour which was intended to make the plaintiff feel that he was special in the eyes of Paquette, the Church and God," another claim states.
Lawyer Rob Talach, of Ledroit Beckett, the London, Ont., firm handling the lawsuits, said not much is known about Paquette or his career.
"These victims therefore seek the assistance of the public in their pursuit of the truth," he said. "There are many questions which remain unanswered."
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