Category: Child Abuse

Walk So Kids Can Talk: Fundraiser for Kids-Help Phone

by John McKiggan

The Kids Help Phone is a non-profit organization that provides a telephone counselling service to youth 24 hours a day, 365 day a year.

Kids Help Phone provides support to youth suffering from a variety of problems including abuse, bullying, suicide, depression and online issues like cyberbullying.

Kids Help Phone doesn’t receive any core government funding and relies entirely on the support of individual donations and corporate sponsors.

Crazy Decision of the Month: Greece Defines Pedophilia as a Disability

by John McKiggan

In what has to be one of the most stunning examples in history of government incompetence, the Greek government has decided to expand a list of categories that entitles persons with disability to receive financial support.

I can hear you say…”But wait John, isn’t helping persons with disabilities a good thing?”

Yes it is. Extending aid to persons with legitimate disabilities is not the problem. That’s something any forward thinking person can agree with, right?

Court to Rule on Reliability of Repressed Memory in Abuse Case

by John McKiggan

Sexual abuse victims often struggle for years with memories of the traumatic abuse they suffered as children. In some cases, the experiences are so traumatic that they block out (or repress) the memories.

This week the Minnesota Supreme Court is hearing a motion to determine the validity of repressed memory in sexual abuse cases.

Courts will not allow expert evidence unless the party seeking to submit the evidence can establish that the evidence is reliable.

Did Penn State Steal the Catholic Church’s Playbook?

by John McKiggan

Football fans and Penn State alumni around the world have been shocked by the criminal charges against Jerry Sandusky a former defensive coach for Penn State’s perennial powerhouse football team.

Just Horsing Around?

The criminal charges allege that Sandusky sexually abused eight young boys that he met through a charity that he founded, The Second Mile. Sandusky has denied all the charges, admitting only that he only “horsed around” in the shower with one of the boys that is the subject of some of the criminal charges.

Tribute to Nora Bernard

by John McKiggan

One of my clients sent me a link to a page with a number of videos from last weeks Truth and Reconcilation Commission hearings in Halifax.

Of particular interest is a video montage titled Nora Bernard – Eastern Thunder.

There was a wonderful event Wednesday evening where Nora was honoured for her work on behalf of Residential School survivors. I was delighted to be invited by Nora’s family to say a few words about Nora and her contribution to the National Indian Residential Schools class action.

Date Set for Albert LeBlanc Sex Abuse Trial

by John McKiggan

Former Yarmouth priest Albert LeBlanc is facing 50 criminal sexual abuse charges involving allegations of indecent assault and gross indecency.

LeBlanc was scheduled to appear in court yesterday to schedule a date for his trial. LeBlanc did not atend court. Instead Yarmouth criminal defence lawyer Phil Star appeared for LeBlanc to set dates.

The trial has been scheduled to starty May 14, 2012 in provincial court.

Disabled Homes Abuse Class Action Certified – McKillop v. The Queen in Right of Ontario

by John McKiggan

I was pleased to see that a class action lawsuit filed by former residents of two institutions for developmentally disabled people has been certified by Justice Horkins of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

The class action was filed on behalf of David McKillop by his litigation guardian Christine Victoria Grace Clarke. The class action against the province of Ontarion involves two schools, Rideau Regional Center in Smith Falls, Ontario and South Western Regional Center in Chatham, Ontario.

Former residents of the institutions claim that they were physically and mentally abused after being placed in the institutions.

The Catholic Church and Sexual Abuse

by John McKiggan

Is the church’s response real action - or window dressing?

Sexual abuse compensation claims have been filed against the Catholic Church in almost every province in Canada - and similar lawsuits are being filed in other countries around the world. But has the Catholic Church, as an institution, taken reasonable steps to address the problem of sexual abuse by priests?


Nova Scotia Court of Appeal Increases Award to Lalo Sexual Abuse Victim

by John McKiggan

Our Court of Appeal has released their reasons in the appeal of L.M.M. v. Attorney General (Nova Scotia).

The appellant/plaintiff L.M.M. was sexually abused by his probation officer, Cesar Lalo. Lalo was convicted of assaulting the boy. As a result of the sexual abuse the trial judge stated:

So I have examined these two life patterns. There is no doubt in my mind that the Lalo “event” generated a significant and lasting change in LM’s life plan.
And I have asked myself what was the hope and promise of his life before Lalo.
Could he have lived even a conventional or somewhat normal life, but for this event? Will he ever get back on the track his life might have taken but for this event? What is the long-term difference between the life he has today and one he might have had, if the probation officer he met was an honourable and decent man. LM’s life changed dramatically for the worse after he passed through that sliding glass door into Caesar Lalo’s “care” at the age of 13.

Probation Officer Lets Sex Offender Coach Minor Hockey: Province Responsible for Harm

by John McKiggan

The Province of British Columbia was recently held vicariously liable for the sexual abuse of a convicted sex offender who sexually abused a minor hockey player that he was coaching.

Reasons for judgment were recently released by Justice Dley in D.K.B. v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of British Columbia.

Failure to Notify