Former students from Montreal Institute for the Deaf seek justice for alleged abuse
Published Sunday, November 25, 2012 10:56PM EST
Former students of the Montreal Institute for the Deaf staged a protest Sunday, seeking justice against the priests who ran the school and who the students say sexually abused them.
The protesters marched outside the school, which closed 40 years ago. They said they want the Clerics of St. Viateur to be held accountable.
Sixty of the school’s former students are now pursuing a class-action lawsuit against the religious order, including 28 priests and six former employees. Each of the alleged victims is seeking $100,000, reported CTV Montreal’s Camille Ross.
Former student Daniel Cormier described the alleged abuse he suffered at the hands of those who ran the school.
“I was abused three to four times a week over a four month period by a single priest,” said Cormier. He said that when he was 11 years old, a priest at the school forced him to keep his shower door open and masturbate.
While Cormier managed to leave the school, the memories still haunt him.
“I feel stained forever. When I look at members of religious communities, I continually think about this. It hasn’t gone away,” he said.
Cormier believes he is one of hundreds of young boys who endured abuse between 1940 and 1982. Now, the alleged victims are speaking out.
“At the time it was such a big taboo, nobody could talk out about this,” said Serge Laroche, a former teacher and alleged victim.
Carlo Tarini of the Association for Victims of Priests was at Sunday’s protest. He said the accused must address the issue.
“The religious communities involved in the abuse of these children, the Clerics of St. Viateur, must own up to what they’ve done,” Tarini said.
So far the clerics have only issued a statement saying that if any abuse has happened, they regret it, said Ross.
With a report from CTV Montreal’s Camille Ross