Teen ‘sexual cult’ in Ontario foster home known to Children’s Aid Society, victim says

Teen ‘sexual cult’ in Ontario foster home known to Children’s Aid Society, victim says
Posted on November 12, 2019 | Derek Flegg | Written on November 12, 2019
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Author's Note:

Justice isn't about the punishment it's about revealing the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
 
In a rare legal case, Toronto teen gets green light to sue Ontario's children’s aid for negligence. By Sandro Contenta Feature Writer Fri., Aug. 23, 2019.
 
A 19-year-old girl’s allegations against the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto have not yet been tested in court, but a lawsuit has been allowed to proceed. CANADA
 
See more below...
 
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2003: Mom, 81, jailed for abuse. Woman gets 4 years for torturing foster kids. By JANE SIMS, SUN MEDIA TORONTO SUN.
 
LONDON, Ont. -- An 81-year-old woman became the oldest female prisoner in Canada yesterday when she was sentenced to four years for torturing and abusing children who were in her care.
 
See more below...
 

2009:Huge inquiry fails to find pedophile ring in Cornwall.

There were 34 victims in a Cornwall child-molestation scandal, but even after a four-year, $53 million public inquiry no one knows if an organized pedophile ring was operating in Eastern Ontario.

Commissioner G. Normand Glaude released his 2,396-page report Tuesday, exposing "a combination of systemic failures, insensitivity to complaints, (and a) reluctance to act" on the part of church, school, children's aid, police and justice officials.

 
About the Inquiry

The Cornwall Public Inquiry was established by the Government of Ontario on April 14, 2005, under the Public Inquiries Act. The mandate of the Commission was to inquire into and report on the events surrounding allegations of abuse of young people in Cornwall by examining the response of the justice system and other public institutions to the allegations. The Commission made recommendations to improve the response in similar circumstances. As well, the Commission inquired into and reported on processes, services and programs to encourage community healing and reconciliation in Cornwall.



The Commissioner, Justice G. Normand Glaude, was appointed by Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant in April 2005.



In keeping with Commissioner Glaude's commitment to provide the public with current information throughout the Inquiry, throughout the process regularly updated information was posted on this website. Throughout the hearings, the website featured live webcasts of the Inquiry. Final submissions were also broadcast via webcast.



Hearings for the Cornwall Public Inquiry ended on January 29, 2009. Final submissions were completed on February 27, 2009. Commissioner Glaude released the Report of the Cornwall Inquiry on December 15, 2009. It was transmitted to Attorney General Chris Bentley shortly before the public release.

Cornwall inquiry fails to dispel or confirm pedophile ring

CORNWALL, Ont. - Rumours that swirled for years that children were abused at the hands of a pedophile ring in eastern Ontario were neither put to rest nor given credence Tuesday by a $53-million public inquiry report four years in the making.

The Cornwall inquiry's official mandate was to examine institutional responses to historical claims of sexual abuse, and the sensational allegation that fuelled it went unresolved in the more than 1600-page report.

"Throughout this inquiry I have heard evidence that suggested that there were cases of joint abuse, passing of alleged victims, and possibly passive knowledge of abuse," Commissioner G. Normand Glaude wrote.

The police declared there was no evidence of a ring, but that failed to quell the suspicion and fear in the community.

"There is good reason why certain members of the public were less than satisfied with the OPP's unequivocal position about the non-existence of a ring," Glaude wrote.

"I find that the OPP did not conduct a full-scale investigation into the linkages between victims and perpetrators."

Glaude made the point, however, of noting "much of what I have heard about linkages remain allegations that have not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt."

The report found institutional response to reports of sexual abuse was, in large part, inadequate and failed to protect the vulnerable. Among the commissioner's recommendations was to expand training and mandatory education for professionals such as public servants, those in the justice system, teachers and others having contact with children or adults who may have been sexually abused.

https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/cornwall-inquiry-fails-to-dispel-or-confirm-pedophile-ring-1.464739

Cornwall sex abuse victims given large settlements

Although confidentiality agreements could mean taxpayers will never learn the true cost of the settlements, a former MPP predicts the payouts will total tens of millions of dollars.

"I would look at somewhere between $70-100 million," said Garry Guzzo, a former Conservative MPP who blew the whistle on the scandal and pushed for a public inquiry.

"It's a lot of money coming from very few taxpayers, and the people of the Catholic Church are taxpayers."

While sources have told CTV the payouts are in the millions, alleged victim Steve Parisien says some individuals are getting less than $20,000.

"I think parishioners and taxpayers have a right to know how much has been paid out," he said.

A lawyer representing dozens of the victims wouldn't reveal how much money was paid. However, he confirmed several settlements have been reached with the Catholic diocese, the Ontario government and other Catholic organizations.

There are also several cases in the works against the Children's Aid Society.

https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/cornwall-sex-abuse-victims-given-large-settlements-1.521190

Convicted Cornwall priest charged with 2 historic sex assaults

A priest investigated by the Cornwall Inquiry and convicted of sexual assaults of children has been charged with sex offences once again. Nick Westoll / Global News File

OPP have arrested a former Cornwall-based priest, previously convicted of sex offences involving children, on new sex-related charges.

On March 12, Stormont Dundas and Glengarry OPP arrested 79-year-old Gilles Deslaurier, who now lives in Vercheres, Que.

He was charged with two counts of indecent assault of a male. The charges, the equivalent of current sexual-assault charges, date back to incidents allegedly involving a young boy that began in 1976.

Deslaurier was a Catholic priest who practised in the Cornwall and Ottawa regions. He was convicted of four counts of gross indecency involving boys in the ’80s and sentenced to two years of probation.

The 79-year-old was one of the priests investigated by the Cornwall Inquiry, a massive investigation completed in 2009 into allegations of institutional cover-ups of sexual assaults of children in the Cornwall area, including by the Catholic diocese.

https://globalnews.ca/news/5067681/previously-convicted-cornwall-priest-charged-with-2-historic-sex-assaults/

2001: The pedophiles of Cornwall.

The little city of Cornwall, Ont., is not a place you'd expect unspeakable secrets to lurk. But for the past seven years, it has been racked by a dark drama that has shredded reputations and driven men to suicide. The villains, it's alleged, are that most loathsome form of human life -- pedophiles. The pedophiles allegedly include Catholic priests and the city's leading citizens.

The so-called pedophile ring has sparked endless charges of cover-ups and corruption in high places. The local MP is demanding a provincial inquiry. Some people even think the police may be in cahoots with the guilty. "The hysteria has been palpable," says Jacques Leduc, a respected lawyer who has lived in Cornwall all his life. "It has been a rather dark moment in our region's history."

The latest effort to track down the sex abusers is called Project Truth. It was launched in 1997 by the Ontario Provincial Police after the local police force was torn apart by the controversy. Since then, Project Truth has laid more than 100 charges against 14 men. But, so far, there has been not a single conviction. Six of the cases have yet to proceed. Four of the accused are dead. One man was acquitted; one was found unfit to stand trial; one had his charges dropped last fall. And one case was thrown out of court last week after a spectacular prosecutorial debacle. That case was Jacques Leduc's.

It all began in 1992, when the local Catholic church, in an effort to avert a criminal case, paid $32,000 in a private settlement to someone who said he was abused as an altar boy by a parish priest. The priest's guilt or innocence has never been tested in court.

Then along came a crusading cop named Perry Dunlop. Mr. Dunlop was scandalized that his own police force had decided there wasn't enough evidence to nail the priest. It was personal; Mr. Dunlop was a fervent convert to Catholicism, and the priest was his family priest.

His bosses told Mr. Dunlop to mind his own business. But he became obsessed, convinced that Cornwall's children were in peril from the priest and other predators. "If a loose cannon is protecting children, then I'm a loose cannon," he told the CBC's fifth estate in 1995. "We need to protect our children no matter what the rules say." He and his wife, Helen, launched their own private investigations and scoured the town for more victims. Eventually, other men came forward with stories of abuse by priests, probation officers, even a judge. The Dunlops claimed the Cornwall pedophile ring went back for decades. They were depicted as heroes in Chatelaine and, last month, in The Report magazine. CBC Radio aired other stories that left no doubt that something evil had happened in Cornwall.

Meantime, another loose cannon named Dick Nadeau cranked up a crackpot Web site full of wild conspiracy theories and lists of alleged perpetrators. Three of the many men accused in the past few years have killed themselves.

Why would any accuser (none of whom can be identified) level false allegations? An obvious answer is money. In the past decade, people claiming to have been abused as children by men in positions of power have won millions of dollars in civil settlements. Some of these claims were legitimate; many were not. A dozen men from Cornwall are currently suing the province for $4.8-million.

Jacques Leduc was the church's lawyer in 1992. For conspiracy theorists, that was proof enough; they believed he was at the heart of the cover-up. In 1998, he was arrested after two men claimed he'd assaulted them while they were teenagers doing casual jobs around his house. "I am not a man who is faint of heart," says Mr. Leduc. "But this was devastating."

His trial began in January. Then, last week, came a stunning revelation: The crusading cop's fingerprints were all over the case. The mother of a witness testified that Mr. Dunlop had told her the best way to bleed Mr. Leduc dry was through a civil action. After that, her son went after Mr. Leduc for $2-million. (In a different trial last year, a witness described how Mr. Dunlop had coached him to perjure himself.) What's more stunning, the Crown attorney knew of the Dunlop connection but concealed it.

 
 
In a rare legal case, Toronto teen gets green light to sue Ontario's children’s aid for negligence. By Sandro Contenta Feature Writer Fri., Aug. 23, 2019.
 
A 19-year-old girl’s allegations against the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto have not yet been tested in court, but a lawsuit has been allowed to proceed. CANADA
 
A Superior Court judge has ruled that a Toronto teenager can proceed with a $2 million lawsuit against the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto for allegedly conducting a negligent investigation and placing her in an abusive home.
 
The lawsuit, which claims the society participated in filing “false affidavits” to take the girl into its custody, is a rare example of a child taken into care claiming damages. The 19-year-old teen was apprehended when she was 11.
 
 
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Teen ‘sexual cult’ in Ontario foster home known to Children’s Aid Society, victim says
 
BY ALEXANDRA MAZUR AND KRAIG KRAUSE GLOBAL NEWS
Posted June 12, 2019.
 
The 15-year-old girl was seeking refuge when she came to Janet and Joe Holm’s house in the mid-2000s. The couple lived in a big white farmhouse on a sprawling property just minutes outside Bloomfield, Ont., a village in Prince Edward County dotted with well-manicured homes from the 1800s.
 
M.K. had been previously sexually abused when she arrived at the Holms’ as a foster child, hoping to find a safe, stable home. Instead, her stay turned into a nightmare. The couple groomed her under the guise of trying to heal her. They dressed her up, made her watch porn, and eventually she was sexually assaulted by Joe.
 
READ MORE: Drugs, theft, alcohol and inappropriate relationships alleged at Children’s Aid group home
 
 
M.K’s story is not unique. The Holms would eventually be convicted of treating the wards in their care as sexual playthings. Joe pleaded guilty to the sexual assaults of three foster girls in the home, and Janet pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation, one count of permitting a person under 18 to engage in sexual activity in her home and one count of possession of child pornography in relation to three foster children in the home. Both were sentenced to jail in 2011.
 
A Global News investigation shows what happened at the Holm house was not an isolated case, but one of several foster homes chosen by the now-defunct Prince Edward County Children’s Aid Society where foster parents were convicted of abusing children between 2002 and 2010.
 
Some say the abuse discovered in foster homes across the county went undetected for so long due to systemic failures at the Prince Edward County Children’s Aid Society. The judge who presided over the Holms’ criminal case called the abuse so outrageous that he hoped a public inquiry would be launched.
 
In April 2018, three years after the last conviction in the Prince Edward County abuse cases, OPP charged the former executive director of Prince Edward County Children’s Aid Society, Bill Sweet, with 10 counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and 10 counts failing to provide the necessities of life.
 
Sgt. Carolle Dionne, provincial media relations coordinator, said when Sweet was charged, he never fostered any children of his own, but oversaw a Children’s Aid Society where several foster children were abused.
 
His preliminary hearing begins next month.

READ MORE: Children’s Aid executive facing 20 charges in child abuse case

“‎Mr. Sweet intends to vigorously defend these charges. It would be inappropriate for him to comment further,” said his lawyer William MacDowell.
 
Meanwhile, the situation begs the question: has Children’s Aid done enough to ensure something like this never happens again?
 
What happened at the Holms’ house?
 
Two years before M.K. arrived, another girl, M.R., was also placed in Janet and Joe’s home at the age of 15. She said she was only meant to stay for a weekend after becoming violent towards her mother. Police were called, and Children’s Aid became involved.
 
Despite claiming to come from a fairly stable family, she stayed with the Holms for about five years. M.R. said she chose to live with the couple rather than her mother, who fought the whole time to get her back, because the Holms made her believe she was better off with them. M.R. also claims the Children’s Aid Society never made an effort to reconnect her with her family.
 
According to court documents from their sentencing hearing, between 2001 to 2010, Joe and Janet had 25 teens come through their home. The teens were allowed to drink, talk openly about sex and have sex with each other, but were still encouraged to have strong academics and participate in family activities.
 
As M.K. described it, sexuality was deliberately woven into the fabric of the family.
 
In the early days, Janet would set up photo shoots for her, dressing her in bathing suits and having her pose suggestively on the pool table, M.K. says
 
M.K. and M.R. described how the foster family would regularly watch porn together. For Christmas, along with regular teen stuff, the girls say they would receive sexual paraphernalia.
 
“I, for Christmas, received a penis straw, penis candy, a belly button ring of people having sex, sex lube oil [and] a silk nightie,” M.R. said.
 
M.K., M.R. and three other complainants, whom Global News has not identified, filed a civil suit against the Prince Edward County Children’s Aid Society in 2013. Children’s Aid settled with each of the women in the civil suits, who signed non-disclosure agreements, forbidding them from discussing the amount they received from the child welfare agency.
 
According to the statement of claim, Janet seemed to favour M.K.
 
“If I had a relationship with a boy from my high school, Janet would want me to take pictures of them while we were being intimate and show them to her,” M.K. told Global News.
 
M.K. says Janet would watch porn alone with her and also hand out her contact information to men in the area.
 
“She thought that was hilarious. I was at that point 16, 17 years old and there were people in the community that were messaging me and talking about very inappropriate sexual things with me.”
 
WATCH: Woman charged with sexual exploitation worked at Children’s Aid at time of alleged offences
 
 
Joe was allegedly more overt in his pursuit of the girls. He was seemingly obsessed with M.R.’s breasts, according to the statement of claim. The document alleges that he repeatedly complimented her breasts and took photos of her chest while she was clothed. The document also details how Joe would brush up against her, so that he could fondle her.
 
But Joe had his sights on M.K. The court documents describe how he forced her to watch a sex tape of him and Janet, allegedly assuring her the couple had previously had sex with other foster children.
 
The same document claims that Joe would grab M.K.’s “buttocks and breasts at parties with pornographic material being viewed on the TV in the presence of many other people.”
 
READ MORE: Children’s Aid Society dealing with ‘critical’ shortage of foster families in Hamilton (so they shove they anywhere they can?)
 
IS THERE REALLY A SHORTAGE OR HAS THE CAS USING MOTHERISK AND FAKE EXPERTS SIMPLY SCOOPED UP TOO MANY CHILDREN?
 
 
This would have happened at one of Janet and Joe’s many “sex parties.”
 
In court documents from Janet and Joe’s sentencing hearing in 2011, Assistant Crown Attorney Jodi Whyte described the parties where foster children would entertain Janet and Joe’s friends through a game of pool.
 
It wasn’t normal pool.
 
“The loser would have a penalty,” according to the documents. “The penalties would be kissing someone or flashing someone, doing a lap dance or strip tease and ultimately sometimes resulted in one of the girls performing fellatio on someone.”
 
Article continues:
 
 
:::
 
OACAS and Children’s Aid Societies Welcome the Chief Coroner’s Expert Panel Report.
 
OACAS and Children’s Aid Societies welcome the Chief Coroner’s Expert Panel Report, “Safe With Intervention: Report of the Expert Panel on the Deaths of Children and Youth in Residential Placements.” We are deeply saddened by the deaths of these young people in residential care. Many parts of the residential services and child protection system failed them and their deaths are unacceptable. Systemic change is needed desperately in order to prevent future tragedies.
 
Although Children’s Aid Societies have done much good work over the past two years on this issue, we must provide a more co-ordinated approach to the work, with a focus on mutual care and joint responsibility. We echo Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, Lisa MacLeod’s, comments that this is a shared responsibility—CASs, government, and group homes—and that we need to do more make sure that children are safe and cared for. We are encouraged by the scope of the panel’s recommendations. The changes needed cannot be addressed by one sector or one ministry alone.
 
The Residential Services Working Group, with joint leadership between the Association of Native Child and Family Service Agencies of Ontario (ANCFSAO), Children’s Aid Societies, and OACAS, has been working for the past year on making significant changes to change how agencies use residential services. This includes dramatically increasing the amount of information sharing going on between agencies about the group homes and foster homes they use. Through our child welfare Shared Services Program, standardized assessments and a common database for residential placements are in the works, so that agencies can make better informed decisions about safe placements for youth.
 
This good work will continue. We recognize the need to break down barriers and work collaboratively with all our stakeholders and partners to realize true systemic change. We will continue to act with urgency on this issue, as the most vulnerable children and youth in our care continue to be at risk in some residential placements. We all have a part to play in keeping children and youth safe.
 
 
:::
 
SAFE WITH INTERVENTION : A Message from the Expert Panel.
 
Dear Dr. Huyer,
 
We thank you for the opportunity to participate in this very important initiative to avoid another messy and embarrassing public coroner's inquest...
 
 
:::
 
Safe and Caring Places for Children and Youth: Ontario’s Blueprint for Building a New System of Licensed Residential Services, July 2017.
 
 
:::
 
A 14-year-old girl is a ‘sexually mature young woman,’ not a child, children’s aid society lawyer argues in sex abuse suit
 
By Jacques Gallant Legal Affairs Reporter Sun., March 24, 2019.
 
 
CAS denies any knowledge or responsibility for their lawyer who is defending the foster parents and the CAS.
 
 
:::
 
Negligence charges for former child welfare official after kids abused in foster care.
 
Criminal charges against Children's Aid Society administrators 'a rare thing'.
 
Ontario Provincial Police have taken the unusual step of charging the head of a Children's Aid Society for overseeing an agency that placed 10 children with foster parents who ended up being convicted of sexual abuse.
 
Bill Sweet, 67, former executive director of the Prince Edward County CAS, was charged in May with 10 counts of negligence causing bodily harm and 10 counts of failing to provide the necessities of life — a charge usually reserved for guardians who neglect children.
 
Sweet, who left the CAS in 2012, declined to discuss the case with CBC News. He's scheduled to make a court appearance later this month.
 
His case is being closely watched by advocates for children in care.
 
Lawyer Mary Birdsell, executive director of Justice for Children and Youth, says it could have wide-ranging implications for people whose job it is to protect children in need.
 
"It's not unheard of for [children's aid] societies and administrators to be sued when things go wrong," said Birdsell, who has been offering legal aid services to children in care for 20 years.
 
"But as far as I know, having an administrator brought up on criminal charges is a rare thing."
 
'I still struggle daily'
 
The 10 abused former foster children, now adults, will also be watching the case closely.
 
MK, whose identity is protected under a court-ordered publication ban, is one of them.
 
She was 15 years old in 2007 when the Prince Edward County CAS placed her, along with two other teenage girls, in foster care with Joe and Janet Holm.
 
But that foster home, meant to be a place of refuge, ended up being where MK faced even more harm.
 
"I still struggle daily with having to use the coping mechanisms that I learned in therapy to get through life," said MK, now 26.
 
She remembers Joe Holm being extremely sexually inappropriate from the start, something she says Janet Holm continually tried to cover up.
 
N.W.T. government faces lawsuit over allegations it failed to protect children from sexual abuse
Consultant hired to review 'effectiveness' of child protection system
 
CBC INVESTIGATES Former foster home operators accused in lawsuit of inappropriate discipline, letting kids use drugs
 
"We were told by my foster mother that my foster father was not to be present when [CAS] would do the annual visits," she said. "He was very very inappropriate with almost every single person he met."
 
MK says her former foster father faced no consequences when his sexually inappropriate comments and touching were exposed.
 
"I recall something had happened with my foster father and one of the young girls in the home, and [CAS workers] had asked us if that had actually happened and we said, 'Yes, we witnessed this happening,' and he was told not to do it again and it was left at that," MK said.
 
"So when the behaviour started to progress with me, I almost kind of felt that this was normal, that I deserved this."
 
Joe Holm went on to sexually abuse MK over the next three and a half years.
 
In April 2011, the Holms pleaded guilty to charges including sexual assault, invitation to sexual touching and possessing child pornography related to the sexual abuse of MK and four other children in their care. The judge sentenced Joe Holm to four years in prison and Janet Holm to three years.
 
Theirs wasn't an isolated case.
 
Province issues damning report
 
Three other Prince Edward County foster parents were convicted of sexual offences against children in their care — all placed with them by the county's CAS.
 
The large number of sexual abuse charges and convictions in what was the smallest children's aid society in Ontario prompted the province's Ministry of Children and Youth Services to launch a wide-ranging review.
 
A report issued in 2012 found a poorly run, dysfunctional organization where workers routinely failed to complete proper screening of foster parents. Monthly checks-ins on the foster homes were also not done.
 
And infighting among staff meant crucial information about foster parents was often not shared.
 
MK believes her social worker was not aware of the abuse until she told him.
 
After the damning government review, the Prince Edward County CAS was merged into the regional Highland Shores CAS.
 
It's unclear what led police to charge Sweet, but the report, seen by CBC News, found the CAS under his direction had issues involving, among other things:
 
Child protection investigation practices with respect to foster homes, particularly with respect to record keeping and documentation, verification of abuse and compliance with requirements for child protection investigations.
Compliance with child protection standards.
Mark Kartusch, executive director of Highland Shores, says a lot has changed in the way foster care is run in Prince Edward County.
 
"We have a lot of checks and balances in place. When we open a foster home there's a very extensive assessment process, some even call it intrusive," he said. "This was an extremely rare event. For something like this to happen and to this scale, it was just completely out of the norm."
 
MK says she hopes the charges against Sweet are a warning to all CAS administrators.
 
"I hope this is an eyeopener for them," she said. "I hope the agencies can be present and mindful of who they allow to be foster parents."
 
 
:::
 
Five former foster children are suing the Prince Edward County Children’s Aid Society and four former foster parents for millions of dollars in damages stemming from sexual abuse while they were in the society’s care.
 
The civil suits total $14 million ($2.8 million per plaintiff). Of the four former foster parents being sued, two are now serving prison terms for sexual abuse of children placed in their care. A third convicted predator’s case is now before the Ontario Court of Appeal.
 
The claims were filed March 28 by Belleville lawyer John Bonn, on the behalf of the five female plaintiffs, now in their late teens and early 20s. All complainants listed claim that “PECCAS is liable for the abuse that each of them suffered while in the care of PECCAS.”
 
The society is now part of the newly-amalgamated Highland Shores Children’s Aid Society, which also spans the societies of Hastings and Northumberland Counties.
 
“PECCAS is responsible in fact and in law for its own negligence and breaches of its statutory and fiduciary duties as well as for the negligence and breaches of duty committed by its servants, agents and employees,” states the claim, a copy of which was obtained by The Intelligencer.
 
One statement of claim states, “PECCAS caused (the plaintiffs) permanent and extensive injuries and losses” ranging from alcohol and substance abuse to inability to trust, impairment of mental health, nightmares of abuse, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.
 
“They (plaintiffs) have incurred medical expenses and will continue to require therapy and medical attention,” the claim adds.
 
Anything may be alleged in a statement of claim. None of the suit’s claims have been proven in court.
 
Only initials were used to identify the complainants in the suits filed in a Picton court, as many of their names were banned from publication during the criminal proceedings.
 
Each plaintiff is claiming $350,000 for pain and suffering, in addition to $1 million each for loss of future earnings and another $1 million for punitive damages. They seek $100,000 in future care costs, plus $100,000 for special damages and $250,000 for aggravated damages.
 
A publication ban levied in criminal court prevents the naming of a 72-year-old man convicted last summer of abusing two girls, now in their late teens, at his Bloomfield home. The girls were ages 9 and 10 at the time. The man is now appealing his conviction and nine-year sentence.
 
He was convicted for two counts each of sexual assault, sexual exploitation and invitation to sexual touching. He and his wife are listed as John Doe and Jane Doe on the claim.
 
“The conduct of the Does was harsh, vindictive and reprehensible,” the suit claims.
 
In relation to the Does, the plaintiffs’ claim blames PECCAS for a series of alleged failures, including failing to investigate the Does upon complaints from both girls and “failure to advise the proper authorities, including the police, of occurrences of abuse” of the plaintiffs.
 
Improper monitoring and failure to warn potential victims and failure to conduct reference checks with respect to the Does are some of the other alleged failures PECCAS faces in the claim.
 
The other two former foster parents named are Walter Joseph Holm, 46, and his wife, Janet Holm, 49.
 
They pleaded guilty to several charges, including possession of child pornography, sexual assault and invitation to sexual touching and were sentenced in November 2011 to four- and three-year prison terms respectively.
 
Three of the five plaintiffs, now ages 21, 23, and 19, are linked to the Holms.
 
Justice Geoff Griffin blasted them for turning their home into a "sexual cult" while fostering 25 teenagers over the course of nine years.
 
Each of the three complainants linked to the Holms filed a plethora of allegations against PECCAS and the Holms, including claims the Holms “breached their judiciary and statutory duties through their commission of acts of abuse, and/or omission to prevent their commission of acts by permitting such abuse to occur and failing to provide each of the plaintiffs with proper ongoing care.”
 
The three plaintiffs further imply that PECCAS is “vicariously liable for the actions” of the Holms.
 
“PECCAS created or enhanced the risk of harm to each of the plaintiffs by materially empowering the Holms and by placing each of the plaintiffs under the control of the Holms,” states the claim.
 
“PECCAS was systematically negligent in failing to have in place management and operation procedures that would reasonably have prevented the abuse,” reads the claim. “They failed to properly investigate or take the appropriate action against the Holms upon receiving complaints regarding the abuse by the Holms.”
 
PECAS has received notice of the suit but the three former foster parents (the 72-year-old on bail with strict conditions and both imprisoned Holms) have yet to be served, sources said.
 
No defendants have filed statements of defence.
 
 
 
:::
 
Three former County foster children have reached out-of-court settlements with the Highland Shores Children’s Aid Society for damages stemming from sexual abuse sustained while they were in the society’s care.
 
An order dismissing further action against the child welfare agency has been approved by a judge at the Prince Edward County superior court where the lawsuit was filed in April 2013. Court staff confirmed only three of the five cases have been settled to date, leaving two outstanding plaintiffs.
 
Confidentiality provisions restrict the plaintiffs’ Belleville lawyer, John Bonn, from divulging details on the dollar amount of the compensation dispensed.
 
“It’s an order of the court dismissing the action on behalf of three of the plaintiffs, as against the children’s aid society,” Bonn said of the settlement. “They have resolved matters to their mutual satisfaction.”
 
Bonn added “there was no trial in this matter. They can’t talk about the terms of the resolution because there are confidentiality provisions in effect.”
 
When it was filed in 2013, the civil suits totalled $14 million ($2.8 million per plaintiff).
 
Each plaintiff initially claimed $350,000 for pain and suffering, in addition to $1 million each for loss of future earnings and another $1 million for punitive damages. They sought $100,000 in future care costs, plus $100,000 for special damages and $250,000 for aggravated damages.
 
Two outstanding plaintiffs will be addressed shortly, Bonn said.
 
“We continue to work on those,” he said. “We intend to mediate those.”
 
The suit directed at the CAS also targets four former foster parents, two are now serving prison terms for sexual abuse of children placed in their care. A third convicted predator’s case is now before the Ontario Court of Appeal.
 
“Like most of these issues, they’re difficult all the way through and deal with unpleasant issues, but the fact that we’ve been able to reach some form of agreement means that each side is able to live with it at some level,” Bonn said Tuesday.
 
Bonn filed the claims on behalf of the five female plaintiffs, now in their late teens and early 20s.
 
“With litigation done, it would bring an end to this piece of their involvement with the CAS,” Bonn said.
 
All complainants listed claim the Prince Edward County CAS (PECCAS) is liable for the abuse each of them suffered while in the care of PECCAS.
 
The County society is now part of the newly-amalgamated Highland Shores Children’s Aid Society, which also spans the societies of Hastings and Northumberland counties.
 
Mark Kartusch, the society’s executive director, was also tight-lipped about the settlement.
 
“I can’t disclose any of the details,” he said Tuesday. “However, we do hope this helps these youths move forward.”
 
Kartusch wouldn’t go as far as viewing the settlements as a form of closure for the plaintiffs.
 
“How does one ever have closure?” he said. “We believe in these young people and their future and want to support them in that.”
 
Before the 2013 merger, PECCAS was subjected to an extensive government probe which revealed a bevy of damning findings.
 
The investigation led by the Ministry of Child and Youth Services in Dec. 2011 – following a rash of child sex abuse charges against County foster parents – showed the agency was rife with significant internal conflicts recklessly placing vulnerable children in homes not properly screened and some cases not screened at all for months.
 
Kartusch said the agency has found better footing since the findings triggered amalgamation.
 
“I think we’re moving forward but will not forget the past,” he said.
 
Some concerns linger.
 
“I’m concerned that this may cause people to lose confidence in fostering or foster families,” he said, adding few bad apples aren’t representative of the whole bunch.
 
The 2013 statement of claims alleged “PECCAS is responsible, in fact and in law, for its own negligence and breaches of its statutory and fiduciary duties as well as for the negligence and breaches of duty committed by its servants, agents and employees,” states the claim, a copy of which was obtained by The Intelligencer in April 2013.
 
One statement of claim states, “PECCAS caused (the plaintiffs) permanent and extensive injuries and losses” ranging from alcohol and substance abuse to inability to trust, impairment of mental health, nightmares of abuse, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.
 
“They (plaintiffs) have incurred medical expenses and will continue to require therapy and medical attention,” the 2013 statement of claim adds.
 
Two of the former foster parents initially targeted in the claim were Walter Joseph Holm, 46, and his wife, Janet Holm, 49.
 
They pleaded guilty to several charges, including possession of child pornography, sexual assault and invitation to sexual touching and were sentenced in November 2011 to four- and three-year prison terms respectively.
 
Three of the five plaintiffs, now ages 21, 23, and 19, are linked to the Holms. It’s not known if they were the three of five now concluded.
 
Justice Geoff Griffin blasted the Holms for turning their home into a “sexual cult” while fostering 25 teenagers over the course of nine years.
 
The three plaintiffs further implied that PECCAS was “vicariously liable for the actions” of the Holms.
 
 
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Cornwall sex abuse victims given large settlements.
 
Some victims of the Cornwall sex abuse scandal are receiving large financial settlements after decades of allegations that a cover-up of a pedophile ring existed in the eastern Ontario city, CTV Ottawa has learned.Jun 10, 2010
 
The sex abuse scandal was uncovered in the early 1990s. A public inquiry ended in December 2009 after four years. The inquiry found the Catholic Church, police, the Ontario government and the legal system all failed to protect children from sexual predators.
 
Now, Ontario's attorney general has confirmed to CTV that several financial settlements have been reached with victims, and more lawsuits are outstanding.
 
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Although confidentiality agreements could mean taxpayers will never learn the true cost of the settlements, a former MPP predicts the payouts will total tens of millions of dollars.
 
"I would look at somewhere between $70-100 million," said Garry Guzzo, a former Conservative MPP who blew the whistle on the scandal and pushed for a public inquiry.
 
Article continues below:
 
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2013: In Leaked Memo, CAS Staff Asked To Keep Cases Open To Retain Funding.
 
March is the end of the fiscal year for the agency and in the memo staff are instructed to complete as many investigations as possible (no fewer than 1,000), transfer as many cases as possible to “ongoing services,” and not close any ongoing cases during March.
 
Back in 2013 the children's aid society claimed there was a province wide funding shortfall of $67 million dollars and decided the best way to deal with that was to act in bad faith and defraud the government out of the taxpayers money by adding as many cases to ongoing services as they could, up to 1000 if possible (per society?)
 
The internal memo, signed by seven senior service managers, instructs staff to complete as many investigations as possible (no fewer than 1,000), transfer as many cases as possible to “ongoing services,” and not close any ongoing cases before the end of the fiscal year, March 31.
 
The memo indicated that these "unethical strategies" were necessary to reduce the society’s current deficit and secure future funding from the province.
 
"No one should be surprised that agencies like Peel CAS are taking extreme steps to ensure they have the funding necessary to fulfill their legislated mandates to protect children,” said Carrie Lynn Poole-Cotnam, 2013 Chair of the CUPE Ontario Social Services sector. "
 
"No one should be surprised?" - With the society's reputation HAS a truer thing ever been said? (might be the only true thing CUPE has ever said) but it is probably the first time anyone has gotten away with attempted fraud by called it just an extreme step.
 
Gene Colman, a Toronto family lawyer who handles cases involving CAS, said his office has been puzzled by the substantial increase in people calling because of CAS intervention in their families.
 
“I thought, ‘What’s going on, why are we getting so many calls?’ I wonder if it’s related. I don’t know,” he said not looking the gift horse in the mouth.
 
 
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Article continues: Cornwall sex abuse victims given large settlements.
 
"It's a lot of money coming from very few taxpayers, and the people of the Catholic Church are taxpayers."
 
While sources have told CTV the payouts are in the millions, alleged victim Steve Parisien says some individuals are getting less than $20,000.
 
"I think parishioners and taxpayers have a right to know how much has been paid out," he said.
 
A lawyer representing dozens of the victims wouldn't reveal how much money was paid. However, he confirmed several settlements have been reached with the Catholic diocese, the Ontario government and other Catholic organizations. There are also several cases in the works against the Children's Aid Society.
 
Cornwall's Catholic Diocese says it has settled all 16 of the lawsuits against the Catholic Church. The last lawsuit was settled a few weeks ago.
 
Bishop Paul-Andre Durocher says the total payouts from those lawsuits amount to $1.2 million. He adds none of those settlements involved confidentiality agreements.
 
"There's no doubt in my mind that these victims deserve this money," said Guzzo.
 
"You know the confidentiality agreement - never going to trial, never allowing it to become public - there's an element of hush money."
 
Although Parisien hasn't received a settlement, he is hoping to get some compensation for his experience.
 
He says while no amount of money will change his life, it will help validate what he went through.
 
"Just for my loss of wages - that's all I seek. I don't want nothing else from these people, they've done enough damage. And they have to sleep with themselves at night."
 
 
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2011: Ontario portrayed as pedophile paradise in U.S. ruse to capture predators.
 
A website set up by Homeland Security promoted the bogus firm Precious Treasure Holiday Co., which promised to arrange illegal encounters in Ontario for pedophiles
 
U.S. authorities have defended their online portrayal of Ontario as a haven for child-sex tourism, saying the ploy helped them catch four predators.
 
A controversial website set up by the Department of Homeland Security promoted the bogus firm Precious Treasure Holiday Co., which promised to arrange illegal encounters in Ontario for pedophiles.
 
Four people — two Germans and two Americans — fell for the sophisticated ruse and signed up for a trip.
 
A pamphlet that came with the website offered one night hotel accommodations in Canada and travel under the guise of “boyfriend and girlfriend going to gamble at casino.”
 
The pamphlet said transportation to Cleveland, meals and “condoms, lube, etc. . . ” were not included in the travel package.
 
But it was the use of Canada as a safe haven for sex tourism that raised questions about how the country was portrayed in the sting.
 
“Canada made for a more plausible scenario,” Brian Moskowitz, the special agent in charge of the investigation, told Postmedia News shortly after the indictments were announced.
 
“It was never our intent to take anyone to Canada and no children were involved. It was merely part of a scenario that we built.”
 
He said that Canada wasn’t used in the scenario over any perceived weaknesses or legal vulnerability.
 
Canadian authorities, such as those in Windsor, across the river from the Detroit offices of Homeland Security where Moskowitz is based, are alerted whenever such a sting is underway to prevent them from wasting resources on chasing the American operation, he said.
 
Homeland Security first set up the website in 2009. It remained online in several reincarnations until it was finally outed in March as a government sting by The Smoking Gun website.
 
“Sex tourism is a scourge and must be combated with every available resource,” Moskowitz said in a release when the convictions were announced in early September.
 
“These cases show international borders are no longer a hindrance for predators.”
 
The two German men convicted in the sting paid up to $1,600 to have sex with girls and boys between the ages of 10 and 13. One, a 49-year-old doctor from Stuttgart, was allegedly found with lingerie, sex toys, bondage ropes, straps, a mask, lubricant, 17 condoms as well as four stuffed unicorns and a paint-by-number set, Homeland Security said.
 
Two Ohio men also pleaded guilty to sex trafficking offences and possession of child pornography as a result of the sting. In one case, a 38-year-old man tried to organize a sexual encounter with an eight-year-old girl. In the other case, a 25-year-old man wasn’t legally allowed to enter Canada because he was on parole for a molestation conviction, Homeland Security said.
 
 
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Crown Ward Class Action (Children who suffered abuse before and while they were Crown wards, including in foster care and foster homes, and while in the care of the Children’s Aid Society (“CAS”)).
This class action claims that the Ontario government systematically failed to take all necessary steps to protect the legal rights and claims of children in its care.
 
In Ontario, a child may be removed from the care of his or her parents and put into the care of the Province for reasons that include physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, or neglect. In Ontario, permanent wards for whom the Province has legal responsibility are called Crown wards.
 
Crown wards were victims of criminal abuse, neglect and tortious acts as children, and as a result of which, were removed from the care of their families and placed under the care of the Province of Ontario. These children were also victims of abuse, neglect, and tortious acts while they were under the age of 18 and in the care of Ontario.
 
As a result of the crimes and torts committed against them prior to and during their Crown Wardship, the class members were entitled to apply for compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board and to commence proceedings for civil damages.
 
The suit claims the province failed to take all necessary steps to protect the rights of Crown wards to apply for compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board or to file personal injury claims for children who were abused prior to or while in the care of the Province.
 
The class action seeks to include all persons who became Crown Wards in Ontario on or after January 1, 1966, the date that the Province of Ontario voluntarily accepted legal responsibility and guardianship of Crown wards.
 
Please contact Koskie Minsky LLP with any questions:
 
 
Toll Free Hotline: 1.866.778.7985
 

About The Author

Advocates for family preservation against unwarranted intervention by government funded non profit agencies and is a growing union for families and other advocates speaking out against the children's aid society's... More