Monday, November 29, 2010

Students can sue

Former students can sue priests for abuse: Quebec judge
By Sue Montgomery, Postmedia News November 24, 2010 •Story•Photos ( 1 )
Former students of a Quebec Catholic school have been given the go-ahead to sue the school's priests for alleged sex abuse.Photograph by: Marco Campanozzi / The Gazette, The GazetteMONTREAL — A Superior Court Justice has given the go-ahead for former students of a Roman Catholic secondary school near Quebec City to sue the priests who allegedly sexually abused them.

The lead plaintiff in the suit, Frank Tremblay, is seeking $750,000 in damages for the sexual, emotional, physical and psychological abuse he said he suffered several times a week at the hands of a priest who was in charge of the students' dormitory.

Father Raymond-Marie Lavoie, 70, was arrested last December by the Surete du Quebec and charged with various sexual crimes involving nine minors.

His preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 31 in Quebec City.

The suit covers all students of Seminaire Saint-Alphonse, in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre, just outside Quebec City, who were allegedly sexually abused by priests of the Congregation du Tres-Saint-Redemption between 1960 and 1987.

The order is responsible for the Saint-Anne-de-Beaupre basilica, one of the most recognized landmarks in Quebec.

Tremblay, who attended the college between 1981 and 1985, alleges the abuse took place in the living quarters of the boarders and in a vacation home used by the priests in Ste-Tite-des-Caps.

The suit, which is asking for at least $100,000 in damages for each victim, alleges the priests conspired among themselves, discussing which students they would abuse.

At least five priests were involved in pedophilia at the school, which had between 200 and 250 students, the suit claims. One of the accused priests was Father Francois Plourde, the school's former director, who has since died.

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