Former Priest's Sex Abuse Trial Delayed
By Jane Sims
London Free Press
October 1, 2018
|David Norton, former Anglican priest. (File photo) THE LONDON FREE PRESS|
The trial of a former Anglican priest charged with abusing indigenous boys at Chippewas-of-the-Thames First Nation 40 years ago has been adjourned until later this month.
David Norton, 72, who already is serving a four-year prison sentence for sexual abuses in the 1990s, will have his judge-alone five-day trial start on Oct. 29, one way or another, the judge said.
The delay Monday was because one of Norton’s defence lawyers is ill. This was the second time the trial, involving four complainants, has been delayed.
Superior Court Justice Lynda Templeton said it was “extremely important that the matter move forward” but understood Norton needed to have a defence team in place.
She suggested he could keep his lawyer or hire someone else. Otherwise, Templeton said, he would have to represent himself.
“It will proceed on this date, with or without counsel,” she said.
The complainants, whose identities are protected by court order, and their supporters, some wearing matching blue T-shirts, were in the courtroom.
“You have a right to be heard. You will be heard,” Templeton told them.
Norton was a priest at St. Andrew’s Church at Chippewas of the Thames First Nation in 1977.
Last month, Norton was sentenced to four years in prison for sexual interference of a boy, now in his 30s, when Norton was the rector at St. Mark’s in London, beginning in 1991.
It was the charges laid in the case of the Indigenous boys that prompted the victim in the later crime to come forward to police.
Norton was a full-time priest until 2011, then filled in for vacationing clergy once he retired. He since has resigned from the Diocese of Huron.
Norton also was an award-winning history lecturer at King’s University College where he specialized in indigenous history.