Set­tle­ment reached over priest’s al­leged sex abuse

Lawyer says three vic­tims awarded cash, and ac­knowl­edg­ment crimes hap­pened

Windsor Star - - FRONT PAGE - TREVOR WIL­HELM

The Lon­don Dio­cese has set­tled law­suits from three vic­tims of an ac­cused pe­dophile priest who died be­fore fac­ing jus­tice in a crim­i­nal trial.

Lawyer Robert Talach said the three vic­tims of Li­nus Bastien set­tled for a to­tal of less than $400,000, but the money wasn’t the point for them.

“Be­yond the money, they got ac­knowl­edg­ment and they got con­fir­ma­tion that the ev­i­dence over­whelm­ingly leads to the con­clu­sion that Bastien did this,” said Talach, with Beck­ett Per­sonal In­jury Lawyers in Lon­don. “Just be­cause the crim­i­nal part didn’t get to the end of the road, I think what this process al­lowed is th­ese guys got ac­knowl­edg­ment that there’s no doubt in ei­ther side’s mind here that Bastien did what they say he did.”

The Lon­don Dio­cese couldn’t be reached for com­ment Sun­day night.

The three vic­tims were al­tar boys in their early teens at St. Paul Par­ish in LaSalle when they were al­legedly abused in the 1970s. The law­suits were set­tled last week. Beck­ett Per­sonal In­jury Lawyers has an­other five law­suits that are on­go­ing.

The priest was ac­cused of sex­u­ally abus­ing 12 boys while serv­ing as a priest at St. Paul, St. Charles Par­ish in the for­mer Town­ship of Til­bury East, St. Mary Par­ish in Maid­stone and St. Joachim Par­ish in Lakeshore.

Bastien, 89, died in June 2016 be­fore his trial could be­gin after dozens of court dates and de­lays fol­low­ing his ini­tial ar­rest on Oct. 25, 2011.

The Beck­ett firm in Lon­don launched law­suits in late 2015 on be­half of the three vic­tims who were frus­trated with con­stant de­lays in the crim­i­nal trial.

“They were def­i­nitely an­gry that the story had gone as it had un­til now with the church be­ing aware of him so many years ago and just kind of qui­etly tak­ing him out of cir­cu­la­tion, then the crim­i­nal process tak­ing so long,” said Talach.

He said the law­suits were an ef­fort to see some kind of jus­tice be­fore Bastien died. That didn’t hap­pen, but the civil cases con­tin­ued.

“As a part of the lit­i­ga­tion process, both sides had to take a close look at the facts, both with re­spect to the in­di­vid­ual vic­tims and the to­tal­ity of ev­i­dence,” said Talach. “I can say con­fi­dently there is no ques­tion hav­ing done that, that Bastien was a sex­ual of­fender, that he sex­u­ally abused boys in his var­i­ous parishes over the years.”

He said the per­se­ver­ance of the three men to find some kind of jus­tice is the “pos­i­tive part of the story.”

“For them and es­pe­cially their spouses who were in at­ten­dance, this was the end of a very long jour­ney and there was quite a sense of re­lief all around.”

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