Friday, October 2, 2009

Police overlooked bishop's porn decades ago: abuse survivors

Police overlooked bishop's porn decades ago: abuse survivors
Last Updated: Friday, October 2, 2009 | 10:46 AM NT Comments76Recommend66CBC News
Men who were abused by Christian Brothers in St. John's Mount Cashel orphanage decades ago say they told police about Bishop Raymond Lahey's possession of child pornography in the 1980s.

"I think the [Royal Newfoundland Constabulary] dropped the ball on it big time," Billy Earle, of St. John's, told CBC News Thursday. "Senior officers on the job right now dropped the ball on this big time."

Lahey is now facing charges of possessing and importing child pornography. He turned himself in to Ottawa police Thursday and was released on $9,000 bail.

Billy Earle believes Lahey should have been investigated earlier.

Twenty years ago, Earle and his brother Shane Earle testified at Newfoundland and Labrador's Hughes inquiry into the Mount Cashel orphanage, where they suffered abuse as children.

Shane Earle says he told police back then that Lahey befriended him when Lahey was a priest in Mount Pearl, but the friendship ended when Earle and another boy found pornographic videos and photos in Lahey's home.

Billy and Shane Earle said the news that Lahey is facing child pornography charges now has turned their minds back to that horrible time and that they've been talking and reliving their experiences with Lahey.

In an email sent to his brother Billy, Shane Earle says he told police 20 years ago the pornography he saw at Lahey's home was child pornography.

"During the investigation in 1989 I did reveal to police that during a visit to Father Raymond Lahey's house in Mount Pearl, I found catalogues of child pornography addressed to Ray Lahey. The pictures were of teen boys sexually aroused," wrote Shane Earle, in an email that Billy Earle showed to CBC News.

Possession of child pornography only became a crime in the 1990s.

Shane Earle's allegations to a St. John's newspaper in the 1980s launched the investigation into what happened at Mount Cashel.

Investigations back then established that the Earle brothers were abused. Both were given financial compensation.

Billy Earle and his brother hope the current police investigation of Lahey will dig into what happened in St. John's when they were boys.

Lahey's next court date is Nov. 4 in Ottawa.

No comments: