May 21, 2020

Loretta Merritt wins landmark Court of Appeal case setting aside an 18 year old settlement

An Ontario appeals court has dismissed a bid by the Diocese of London to fight a lower court's decision to throw out a settlement involving a victim of child sexual abuse.

Justice David Aston ruled in 2018 that London-area resident Irene Deschenes would not have settled with the church for the abuse she suffered at the hands of a priest had the church disclosed key information about previous sexual assault allegations. 

Deschenes was abused by Father Charles Sylvestre between 1970 and 1973 while she was a young girl and a student at St. Ursula Catholic School and parishioner of the parish in Chatham, Ontario.

Sylvestre pleaded guilty in August 2006 to the sexual assaults of 47 victims, all girls under the age of 18. The abuse happened between 1952 and 1986. Sylvestre died in prison in 2007. 

Read the complete article published on CBC.

Read the complete article published on The London Free Press.

Read the complete article published on Global News.

Read the complete article published on Yahoo News.

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Loretta P. Merritt