Montreal Gazette - Canada November 19, 2010
Abuse class action expands to second college
A request seeking permission to launch a class-action suit on behalf of victims of alleged sexual abuse at Collège Notre Dame in the 1970s and ’80s by brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross has been amended to include two more plaintiffs – one of them from a second college run by the order.
The new plaintiffs, identified only by their initials – F.L. and L.R.A. – now appear on the request, along with that of the family of the late René Cornellier Jr., who attended Collège Notre Dame in the 1970s for four years starting when he was 12.
L.R.A. also attended Collège Notre Dame between 1967 and 1974 and alleges he was sexually assaulted by one of the brothers at the school. However, in the 1980s, F.L. was a student at Collège St. Césaire, a school near Granby also run by the Congregation of Holy Cross. In the amended request, F.L. alleges he was sexually assaulted by a brother at Collège St. Césaire during the year he attended the school.
The congregation sold Collège St. Césaire in 1991. It closed its doors in 1998.
The allegations of abuse at Collège Notre Dame first came to light in an award-winning series of articles by reporter Sue Montgomery in The Gazette published two years ago. Other media followed the story, most recently the investigative news program Enquête. The Congregation of Holy Cross issued an apology following the broadcast, and Montreal police launched an investigation into allegations of abuse, inviting anyone who believed they had been victimized to contact them or their local police department.
The hearing for the class-action suit, which includes all Quebec residents who attended Collège Notre Dame between 1960 and 2001 and Collège St. Césaire between 1960 and 1991, is scheduled for Dec. 13.
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