|Priest Faces More Sex Charges
By Frances Willick
August 10 2010
Allegations of sexual abuse are piling up against a former Windsor high school principal.
Rev. William Hodgson "Hod" Marshall was charged in May with indecent assault for incidents that occurred between 1981 and 1985.
Late last month, Marshall, 88, was charged with three more counts of abuse by three additional victims, including two counts of indecent assault dating back to 1955 and one charge of sexual assault stemming from one or more incidents alleged to have occurred in 1985-86.
Marshall taught at Assumption College Catholic High School in 1955 and at Holy Names high school from 1985-89, where he also served as principal.
None of the allegations has been proven in court.
On Monday, the Toronto Star reported that in 1998-99, the Basilians gave $30,000 to a former student of Marshall's in Sudbury who had complained of sexual abuse. The alleged victim, Ted Holland, also signed an agreement with the Basilians that he would not pursue the matter in court.
Spokesman for the Basilian Fathers, Rev. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., said the money was simply offered to Holland to help him cover the costs of pricey psychological counselling. "We offered money to Mr. Holland because his psychologist told us he was in need of assistance," he said. "We always reach out to the victim in terms of financial assistance -- if they need help."
Rosica said he couldn't comment on how frequently similar financial contributions had been offered to other complainants. But, he said, "whenever there's been a request for assistance, that's been given out."
The Basilian priest's career spanned three countries, six cities, seven schools and nearly five decades. Ordained in 1951 at the age of 28, Marshall's early years were spent bouncing from school to school before he settled at St. Charles College in Sudbury for almost 17 years.
Rosica said Marshall's frequent change of address isn't unusual for Basilian priests. "I don't think you should read anything into that," he said. "This is normal procedure." Rosica said priests are often moved from place to place early in their careers as part of the "formation process" of clerical development.
He later served as teacher and principal in both Sault Ste. Marie and Windsor before moving to St. Lucia, where he carried out missionary work from 1989 to 1996.
Shortly after leaving the Caribbean island, Marshall was placed in a treatment program for clerics with psychological or spiritual problems. The program at the Saint Luke Institute in Silver Springs, Md., offers therapy for depression, anxiety, dysfunctional behaviours such as gambling, chronic interpersonal problems and sexual issues, including sexual abuse and professional boundary violations.
Asked whether Marshall's placement in the program was prompted by allegations of abuse, Rosica stated, "One doesn't go there for a vacation."
Marshall retired from public ministry in 1997 at the age of 75. Rosica said Marshall was not forced to retire because of psychological or spiritual problems. "He retired because he was an old man and he was living in a country where there was great strife."
The priest is now living in a retirement residence for Basilian priests in Toronto. "He's holding up," Rosica said of Marshall's spirits. "He's dealing with it as best he can."
Rosica added Marshall is co-operating with the Basilian fathers and the legal authorities. His next court date is in Windsor on Sept. 8.
1952-54 St. Michael's College School (Toronto)
54-56 Assumption College School (Windsor)
56-57 St. Thomas high school (Houston, Texas)
57-58 St. Michael's College School (Toronto)
58-61 St. Paul's high school (Saskatoon)
61-70 St. Charles College (Sudbury)
70-71 Ottawa, studies
71-78 St. Charles College (Sudbury)
78-85 St. Mary's high school (Sault Ste. Marie)
85-89 Holy Names high school (Windsor)
89-97 missionary work (St. Lucia)
97-10 retired (Toronto)
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