Sexual Abuse Allegations Levelled Against Father Levi Noel, Father Charles Picot and Diocese of Bathurst

by John McKiggan

New Brunswick Priests Convicted of Sexual Abuse

Two former priests employed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bathurst, Levi Noel and Charles Picot have been convicted of sexually assaulting children in their parishes during several decades spanning the 1950’s through to the early 1980’s.

We have been asked to help a number of survivors who have advised us they were sexually abused by Levi Noel and Charles Picot.

Fear and Trauma Prevents Disclosure

Children who have been sexually abused often do not tell their parents or family members until years after the abuse occurred (if ever). Sexual predators rely on their victims fear and shame to protect them from exposure.

Silence Protects the Abusers

Most pedophiles are repeat offenders. Failing to notify the authorities about sexual abuse allows sexual predators to continue to subject other children to sexual abuse.

In some cases survivors gather the courage to tell someone in authority about the sexual abuse. Unfortunately, as recent media attention around the world has shown, institutions like the Catholic Church have failed to take appropriate action to protect vulnerable children who are the victims of sexual abuse.

Invisible Scars

Childhood abuse can cause long term psychological, emotional and physical damage and can cause long terms problems including difficulty in relationships, substance abuse and loss of education and income earning potential.

You Are Not Alone

By working together, survivors of childhood sexual abuse are better able to achieve accountability, compensation, closure and, in some cases, reconciliation.

Survivor’s Guide

I receive many calls from survivors of childhood sexual abuse asking about their legal rights. So I decided to write The Survivor’s Guide to Abuse Compensation Claims to answer many of the common questions survivors have. For example:

• Do I have to talk to the police to make a claim?
• What happens in a criminal prosecution?
• How do compensation claims work?
• What the burden of proof is in a compensation claim?
• Why is the burden of proof different in criminal matters?
• How do I prove my claim?
• And much more.

Diocese of Bathurst, Levi Noel and Charles Picot

What does all this have to do with the Diocese of Bathurst and the victims of Levi Noel and Charles Picot?

On Sunday the Diocese announce that it has hired a lawyer, a former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Honourable Michel Bastarache, to create an out of court settlement process for victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese.

Recent media reports state that Mr. Bastarache is trying to track down abuse victims: ” to explain the process and give each victim a claim form.”

I do see something positive in the announcement. Mr. Bastarche has said:

“It’s a way for the Bishop here to acknowledge their responsibility. They’re not going to fight and say they’re not responsible.”

Acknowledging that the Diocese is responsible and is not going to fight the survivors is a positive sign.

What concerns me is that the Diocese has apparently already created the process!

Didn’t the Diocese of Bathurst consider that survivors might want to be consulted before the process was created?!

In Nova Scotia Ron Martin actively participated in our negotiations with the Diocese of Antigonish that lead to a landmark class action settlement and settlement process.

How sincere is the Diocese of Bathurst to address the needs of survivors when survivors were not even approached before the process was created? We can only hope that this doesn’t turn into another case of the Church deciding what is right and telling victims how things are going to be done.

Information About Survivor’s Rights

If you have suffered trauma as a result of childhood sexual abuse by Levi Noel or Charles Picot or any other priest employed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bathurst, and are looking for information about your legal options, including compensation claims, you can contact me for a free copy of The Survivor’s Guide to Abuse Claims.

Call If You Need Help

If you would like to talk to me directly you can call toll-free for a confidential consultation 1-877-423-2050.

2 Responses to “Sexual Abuse Allegations Levelled Against Father Levi Noel, Father Charles Picot and Diocese of Bathurst”

June 10, 2010 at 10:38 am, Lawson Hennick said:

Interesting article. The settlement reminds me of the Independent Assessment Process (IAP) as seen with the residential school claimants. It seems like the IAP is the way to go now in these types of abuse claims where everyone is affected differently.

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