|Ottawa Priest Convicted of Sexual Assaulting 7 Altar Boys Kills Himself
By Kristy Nease and Meghan Hurley
October 13, 2010
OTTAWA — Father Dale Crampton, a priest convicted in the 1980s of sexually assaulting seven altar boys, killed himself Tuesday morning at his highrise apartment building overlooking the Ottawa River.
Police were called to the building in the Ottawa's west end at 5 a.m., after a neighbour alerted them to a body found in the building's parking lot.
Crampton was in his early 70s.
In 1986, Crampton pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting seven altar boys, between 10 and 14 years old, from 1973 to 1982.
Crampton was diagnosed with alcoholism and pedophilia — with a preference for boys — and was originally given a suspended sentence with no jail time, placed on probation and ordered to undergo psychiatric counselling.
The sentence was appealed by the Crown, and was overturned in 1987. Crampton spent eight months in jail.
The assaults happened at Crampton's cottage and while he served at three Ottawa-area churches — St. Philip's Church, St. Elizabeth's Church and St. Maurice's Church, where he served for nine years. He was also a school trustee in the late 1970s.
After serving his sentence, Crampton kept a low profile — so low that last year, when one of Crampton's victims filed a $2-million lawsuit against him and the Archdiocese of Ottawa, the lawyer representing the victim said he had difficulty finding Crampton to serve him with the notice.
Robert Talach, based in London, Ont., said the papers were eventually served in June 2009.
The lawsuit was later settled but the terms weren't disclosed.
Since the settlement, five other people claiming to be victims of Crampton had come forward to Talach, and some had — as recently as in the last 10 days — begun extensive interviews with police.
Talach said an Ottawa police officer made a courtesy call Tuesday to tell him about Crampton's suicide, and that the investigation into the five new alleged victims has therefore ended.
He then called the five people who approached him to give them the news.
Some had already been called by police, and Talach said their reactions "ranged from ambivalence to sadness, just in the loss of any human life.
"It's unfortunate that a life was lost, and it's unfortunate in these circumstances that the victims whose lives were altered by Mr. Crampton won't get the vindication of a criminal conviction against him."
Talach said the five alleged victims still have the option of pursuing a civil case.
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