TORONTO (ONTARIO, CANADA)
October 18, 2020
By Adrian Ghobrial and Jessica Bruno
When Jerry Boyle was in high school, he used to walk Windsor’s Ambassador Bridge and drop rocks into the Detroit River. He would count the seconds it took for the stones to hit the water.
“It could end that quick if I wanted it to. Wouldn’t have to look at him again.”
Thirty years later, Patrick McMahon would walk the very same bridge to the very same spot and contemplate the very same thing. Both were sexually assaulted by Father William Hod Marshall, decades apart.
Marshall was a Catholic priest and educator who worked at Catholic high schools across Canada, starting in the 1950s. At the time, the institutions were run or staffed by the Basilian Fathers, a group of priests whose calling is to teach. Their world headquarters is in Toronto.
In a recorded civil deposition, Marshall admitted to sexually assaulting boys at nearly every posting he had.
Marshall pled guilty in 2011 and was convicted of assaulting 17 children at Ontario schools. He was also separately convicted of assaulting two boys in Saskatchewan. Victims and their lawyers believe the actual number of children he preyed on is much higher.
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