NEW BRUNSWICK (CANADA)
November 28, 2017
By Gabrielle Fahmy
At least 32 civil suits before courts against Leger, and lawyer thinks they’re ‘tip of the iceberg’
An alleged victim of priest Camille Leger says he chose to sue the Moncton archdiocese because the amount he was offered in the church-sponsored conciliation process couldn’t compensate for the abuse that began when he was six.
Jean-Paul Melanson is one of at least 32 men who have filed civil lawsuits targeting Leger, since the church hired retired judge Michel Bastarache to lead an extensive and confidential conciliation process from 2012 to 2014.
“He was a monster for me now,” said Melanson. “If you look at that, he was not a person. He was not normal at all.”
Many of Leger’s victims received compensation through that process, although the exact number is being kept confidential.
Some estimate the Cap Pelé priest could have abused hundreds of boys between 1957 and 1980, the years he served at the Sainte-Thérèse-d’Avila parish.
Now 51, Melanson took part in many church activities in the 1970s. He was an altar boy and a boy scout, both supervised by Leger. He said the children were aware of Leger’s behaviour.
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