When it's Time to Get Help

Pedophile priest convicted in Nunavut: Dejaeger facing long delayed jail time.

by John McKiggan

Dejaeger finally convicted

There is good news for sexual abuse victims of former oblate priest Eric Dejaeger. He was found guilty today on 24 of the 68 charges he was facing in Iqaluit.

The priest pleaded guilty to eight sexual abuse charges last November. So Dejaeger will face sentencing on 32 convictions sometime early next year.

Halifax Foster Parent Charged in Child Porn Case

by John McKiggan

The Chronicle Herald has reported that Roy Franklyn Newcomb has been arrested and charged with possessing and accessing child pornography.

The charges came about after a student at NSCAD (where Newcomb has worked for thirty years) found a USB thumb drive containing pictures and videos apparently depicting child pornography. Police were called in and computer forensics officers uncovered twenty images and nine videos depicting child pornography.

At the time of his arrest Newcomb was a foster parent and apparently has been for many years.

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Home for Colored Children Compensation Program Adopts Indian Residential School Model

by John McKiggan

Class action settlement announced

A 16 year fight for compensation ended yesterday when the Province of Nova Scotia and former residents of the Home for Colored Children announced the details of a class action filed by former residents.

About 140 former residents of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children filed a class action seeking compensation for what they describe as years of neglect and emotional, physical and sexual abuse suffered by children in the school.

Residential School Survivors Concerned Their Private Abuse may become Public

by John McKiggan

One of the transformative experiences of my legal career has been representing Nora Bernard and the other survivors of the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School. Ii has been an honour to represent Nora (RIP) and more than 600 former residents of the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School in Nova Scotia for the past 18 years.

Nora Bernard filed the first class action against Canada seeking compensation for all former residents of a residential school.

Nora and the Shubenacadie survivors eventually joined other survivors from other schools in other provinces who worked together to create the National Indian Residential Schools Class Action Settlement. At the time it was the largest class action settlement in Canadian history and I believe to date it is still the largest historical redress settlement in the world.

Halifax Soccer Coach Convicted of Sexual Assault Shows Need for Oversight by Sporting Organizations

by John McKiggan

The Chronicle Herald reported yesterday that Konstanty Bedoa-Gorski a director and coach of a Halifax based program for high performance teen soccer players was sentenced to two years in prison for sexually assaulting one of his players, a 14 year old girl.

Family ripped apart

Judge Michael Sherar said Bedoa-Gorski took advantage of a dedicated player who was hungry for extra training and groomed her for sexual satisfaction. Judge Sherar said that Bedoa-Gorski’s actions had “ripped apart” the victim’s family.

Employers Knowledge of Sexual Abuse may be a Double Edged Sword: Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Saint John’s v. Guardian Insurance

by John McKiggan

Today the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear an appeal from a decision of the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal: Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Saint John’s v. Guardian Insurance

The case is interesting to those of us who represent survivors of childhood of sexual abuse because it illustrates the challenges in recovering compensation for survivors.

In many cases the abuser has little or no assets or is dead. Often a survivor’s only hope of receiving some measure of compensation for their injuries is by pursuing the institution that employed the abuser.

Will a Public Database of Pedophiles Protect Children? The answer may surprise you.

by John McKiggan

The federal government recently introduced legislation to create a public database of child sex offenders.

The bill increases the sentences for child sex crimes and requires sex offenders to provide information when they travel and also facilitates information sharing between various law enforcement agencies.

As an advocate for survivors of childhood abuse I support legislation increasing the penalties for child sex offences.

Catholic Archbishop in Alberta, NWT Apologizes for Residential School Abuse: Irony Abounds

by John McKiggan

CTV News has reported that Archbishop Richard Smith of the Archdiocese of Edmonton has issued a formal apology for the Catholic Church’s role in running the Indian Residential Schools.

Smith said:

“…we the Catholic Bishops of Alberta and Northwest Territories apologize to those who experienced sexual and physical abuse in residential schools under Catholic administration.”

Saint John – Estabrooks Class Action filed

by John McKiggan

I have been retained by Robert Hayes to file a proposed class action against the City of Saint John, the Saint John Police Department and the Saint John Police Commission.

For more than 30 years Kenneth Estabrooks preyed on children and youth in Saint John. Persons in authority turned a blind eye, or worse, covered up his sexual activities.

Estabrooks has destroyed hundreds of lives. Tragically some did not survive. Many of his victims have never been able to achieve their full potential because of the harm caused by his abuse. The ripple effects of his assaults have touched spouses, children and other family members of his victims.

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