Former Ontario Priest, 87, Charged with Sexual Abuse

By Frances Willick
Montreal Gazette
May 21, 2010

A file photo of Rev. William Hodgson Marshall when he was principal at Holy Names Catholic High School in Windsor, Ont. on Aug. 12, 1986. Marshall is facing sexual abuse charges involving a minor.
Photo by Scott Webster, The Windsor Star

WINDSOR, Ont. — A Basilian priest and former Windsor, Ont., high school principal who is now in his late-80s, has been charged with sexually abusing a child in an allegation that dates back to the 1980s.

Rev. William Hodgson (Hod) Marshall, 87, appeared in court Wednesday to face a charge of sexual abuse for incidents that occurred while he was working at a Windsor school from 1981 to 1985.

It is unclear which school Marshall was serving during the years the alleged incidents took place, and it is unknown whether his alleged victim was a student.

Windsor police said the investigation started “a while back,” but police were unable to share details of the case Thursday night.

A statement from the religious order expressed sympathy for any victims of sexual abuse.

“The Basilian Fathers are deeply concerned and regretful that one of their members is alleged to have abused a minor,” reads a statement issued by the General Council of the Congregation of Priests of St. Basil. “Our hearts and minds turn immediately to the victim who has come forward.”

By 1993, he had retired from the school system and had moved to St. Lucia to carry out missionary work.

He didn’t lose his connection with Windsor after moving south, though. The priest spearheaded projects that brought students to the Caribbean island to build homes and to help with the construction of schools and daycares.

Marshall retired from the public ministry in 1997 and moved to a residence for Basilian priests in Toronto.

While working in northern Ontario, “Father Hod” became known as the “basketball priest” for his dedicated attendance at games.

“Anything I can get students interested in, I will,” he told The Windsor Star in 1985. “And I attend everything I can. I like to get in there and see the kids, see them doing something worthwhile and developing their talents.”

Neither Marshall nor representatives of the Catholic school board could be reached for comment Thursday evening.

Windsor Star


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