Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pedophile Gallienne stands to lose pardon

Pedophile John Gallienne (seen above in a photo of a choir at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Ottawa - he's back row left in the red robe) will automatically be stripped of his pardon if he is convicted of a new sex charge laid this week by Kingston Police. Gallienne, 65, is charged with indecent assault on a young boy in Kingston in the early 1980s, when he was the beloved organist and choirmaster at St. George’s Anglican Cathedral.

In the early 1990s, he was convicted of more than 20 sex crimes involving 15 young boys he preyed on for at least 15 years through his powerful position.
Gallienne was released from prison in 1994 after serving four years of a six-year prison term. He obtained a pardon from the National Parole Board, the Whig-Standard learned, though officials will not confirm it.
“We can’t talk about specific cases,” said Caroline Douglas, the director of communications in Ottawa for the National Parole Board.
Gallienne was required to wait at least five years after the end of his prison sentence to seek the pardon.
Yves Bellefeuille, director of pardons for the board, said if a person with a pardon is convicted of a new, serious crime, the pardon is revoked in a process started by the RCMP.
“The files are reactivated and then the RCMP informs the Parole Board and, of course, other partners that were part of that file are informed and everybody reactivates the file,” Bellefeuille said, in an interview Friday, his last day on the job before retirement.
He said that a conviction for a crime that took place before the pardon was granted is still considered a new conviction that automatically overrides the pardon.
“From the moment there is new court action that took place with a conviction, at that point the person will be losing their pardon because it’s a cessation,” he said.
It’s not known why Gallienne sought a pardon, though Canadians with criminal records for serious crimes are barred from travelling to the United States and some other countries.
Gallienne is active in the St. John’s Anglican Church congregation in Ottawa, where he lives, and where his criminal record is widely known. He is active in music programs there, in violation of a ban on such activity imposed by Anglican leaders in the Kingston region. The ban is not binding in Ottawa.
A pardon does not erase a criminal record.
In the case of someone convicted of a sex crime, the record is kept in a separate location but the name is flagged in the Canadian Police Information Centre, a database used by law enforcement.
Details of the conviction would be discovered during a check that takes place if the person applies to work with children, the disabled or other vulnerable people, according to the Parole Board.
Bellefeuille said the board has implemented more stringent investigation and decision-making processes since 2007 for sexual offenders seeking pardons.
“If the person lived in Ottawa, we will check again with the local police of Ottawa but also we will check, even though he never lived let’s say in Gatineau, we will check with Gatineau, so we kind of expanded our geographic search,” he said.
The board also is adding more automated links to law enforcement databases in addition to the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC).
“We can do a CPIC check, but there’s also other systems that exist that are managed by the RCMP and linked with the police and it’s those types of systems,” he said. “They are law enforcement or investigation systems.”
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has pledged to overhaul the pardon process to make it more difficult for sex offenders to get pardons.
The promise was made earlier this month in the face of public outrage over the revelation that former junior hockey Graham James, who was convicted of molesting young male players, received a pardon in 2007.
The government failed to follow through on a plan last year to make pardons more expensive.
The Parole Board sought to triple the price of pardon applications from $50 to $150.
The Conservative government did not move ahead with the proposed fee hike, although the Parole Board said it could not afford to continue processing applications for just $50 each.
“It’s something that has been a struggle because with inflation and all the rest ... but at this time we are still at the $50 mark,” Douglas said.
Pardons also can be revoked if courts provide the board with new information about convictions, Bellefeuille said. If a person with a pardon is convicted of a minor crime, the RCMP notifies the Parole Board and it conducts an investigation. A board member decides whether the pardon should be revoked.
Last year, more than 700 pardons were revoked.
More than 400,000 people have received pardons since the program was created in 1970, with more than 15,000 revocations.
The number of pardon applications in Canada has skyrocketed.
The number of applications last year, roughly 35,700, is more than double the number filed five years ago. Last year, the board granted more than 30,300 pardons, including some from a backlog from the previous year.
Bellefeuille said activity by private firms that help broker pardons may explain the surge.
“There’s been a lot of marketing on their part and ... we also have the baby boomers that have retired,” he said. “There’s more and more and they are probably looking at travelling to the U.S. and things like that.”
It’s estimated that nearly 4 million Canadians have a criminal record.
Gallienne was released on bail Thursday. His case is scheduled to he heard in court again April 27.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Notorious child molester John Gallienne charged again

Pedophile and former Anglican choirmaster and organist John Gallienne, in 2004 in Ottawa with his wife Lannie - photo by Ian MacAlpine

This is certain to open old wounds, to spark anger, resentment, fear and fury. A virtual boogeyman from Kingston's past has reappeared to once again cast a frightening shadow over an entire community. Two decades ago, a revered figure in this historic eastern Ontario city's music and church community was exposed as a ferocious sexual predator. John Gallienne preyed on choirboys, some as young as eight, to feed his relentless pedophilic sexual appetite. He cut a swath through the progeny of some of Kingston's most notable and most literate citizens, parishioners of St. George's Anglican Cathedral, the city's biggest Anglican congregation. Gallienne, who was organist and choirmaster at St. George's for more than a decade and a half, sexually assaulted and exploited the choirboys he led for his entire tenure. Church leaders knew of complaints about his behaviour within a year of his taking the position in 1975. He was not exposed and prosecuted until 1990. And now, Gallienne has been arrested and hauled back to Kingston from Ottawa (my full story from The Whig after the jump), where he fashioned a new life after his release from prison. Kingston Police did not reveal the arrest until I learned of it through sources and pressed them for comment. Police will not confirm my discovery that Gallienne, like former junior hockey coach and sexual predator Graham James, received a pardon. The James case touched off a national outcry.

Gallienne, whose crimes stunned the community and split the church congregation, was arrested Wednesday in Ottawa and brought back to Kingston, Insp. Brian Begbie confirmed.
“It’s a historic case that goes back a number of years,” Begbie said.
Gallienne, now 65, has lived in Ottawa for some time.
He is scheduled to appear in court in Kingston Thursday afternoon, 20 years after he was exposed as a predator who abused more than a dozen young choirboys over a 15-year period.
The new allegation is the result of a complaint to police by a man who did not come forward two decades ago when Gallienne, then the beloved and brilliant organist and choirmaster at St. George’s Cathedral, was prosecuted.
Gallienne is being charged with indecent assault related to abuse of the man between 1980 and 1982, when he was a child.
The newspaper also learned that Gallienne, like former junior hockey coach and sex predator Graham James, received a pardon from the National Parole Board.
“We can’t confirm or deny [that],” Begbie said. “Under freedom of information, people’s criminal records are protected, if they were to have one and if they were to have a pardon.”
The James case provoked a storm of public criticism that a notorious pedophile was able to secure a pardon. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has promised to seek reforms to the pardon process.
“The Prime Minister has asked for explanation on how the National Parole Board can pardon someone who committed such horrific crimes that remain shocking to all Canadians,” Dimitri Soudas, a spokesman for the prime minister said about the James case.
It’s not known when Gallienne received his pardon.
A person convicted of a serious crime must wait until five years after their sentence ends to seek a pardon.
A pardon does not erase a criminal record. In the case of someone convicted of a serious sex crime, the record is kept in a separate location but the name is flagged in the Canadian Police Information Centre, a database used by law enforcement.
Details of the conviction would be discovered by a check that takes place if the person applies to work with children, the disabled or other vulnerable people, according to the National Parole Board.
A pardon can be revoked if a person is convicted of a new crime.
In 1990, Gallienne pleaded guilty to 20 sex crimes against 13 young boys between 1975 and 1990. Two years later, he pleaded guilty to three more sex charges involving another boy.
In 1994, he was convicted of victimizing a choirboy at St. John’s Anglican church in Victoria, B.C. He was choirmaster there in the early 1970s.
He was sentenced to six years in prison. His sentence expired in October 1996, though he was freed from prison on early release in 1994.
Families say two Kingston victims for whom Gallienne was never prosecuted committed suicide.
In 1995, 11 former choirboys and 10 parents shared a $2.1 million settlement that ended a lawsuit against St. George’s Cathedral and the Anglican Diocese of Ontario.
Gallienne preyed on choirboys as young as eight. He abused them at his home, cottage, at the church and on his sailboat. He masturbated them and had them masturbate him. He had oral sex with them and sodomized some of them.
The revelations about his deviance were horrifying for many who knew him and for the community because of the international reputation of the choirs at St. George’s, established in 1892.
The St. George’s congregation has historically been filled with professionals including university professors and Kingston’s most literate citizens. Their children were Gallienne’s prey.
As the scandal unravelled in 1990, it was revealed that church leaders knew of improper conduct by Gallienne as far back as 1976.
Since his release from prison, Gallienne has not kept a low profile. He has been active in the congregation at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Ottawa.
He was leader of the church’s recorder ensemble, according to a report on 2009 activities on the church’s website.
Gallienne also still appears in choir photos on the church website.
In 2004, the Whig-Standard reported that Gallienne was leading choirs and playing the organ at the Ottawa church, in contravention of a lifetime ban (read the original 1994 document outlining the ban) on such activities imposed by a former Anglican leader in Kingston.
He would not answer questions when confronted by a Whig-Standard reporter.
“I’d rather not, thank you very much,” he said, standing next to his wife Lannie Mitchell. “Our time in Kingston was over and done a long time ago. We have a new life up here.” (read the 2004 Whig investigative report)
The bishop in Ottawa reviewed the ban after the newspaper’s report was published and granted Gallienne permission for “limited musical leadership.”
When Gallienne was released from prison, the National Parole Board noted concern that he was a diagnosed pedophile.
“The Board is aware that pedophilia is a life-long sexual orientation,” the board wrote, in a decision. “Your success depends entirely upon your level of motivation to avoid high risk situations, maintain recognition of your offence cycle, and employ appropriate relapse prevention strategies.”

Chronology of events in the Gallienne case:

• Oct. 28, 1989: Dean Grahame Baker and Barry Keefe, the rector's warden, review a letter alleging Gallienne had molested the son of a writer and other boys from the choir
• Nov. 3, 1989: Church officials meet Gallienne to discuss allegations. He says there had been no incidents since one reported to the police and the Children's Aid Society in 1985.
• Nov. 13, 1989: A letter is sent to Gallienne insisting on a system of supervision any time children are involved in practices or performances. He was told not to be alone with children.
• Nov. 17, 1989: Gallienne sends church wardens a letter saying it's his policy to never see children alone
• November to December 1989: Church wardens contact former choristers and parents; approximately 300 had been in the choir since 1975. The wardens are contacted by a number of people suggesting any investigation into Gallienne is inappropriate.
• Jan. 31, 1990: A letter is received from Gallienne's therapist saying he is at the "benign" end of the spectrum and there isn't sufficient risk to justify his dismissal
• Feb. 13, 1990: Church wardens ask Gallienne for his resignation, effective June 30. The church proposes a separation package for Gallienne.
• March 1, 1990: Church parents are called to a meeting to inform of them about current state of affairs and Gallienne's resignation
• March 6, 1990: Following discussions with police, a letter is sent to Gallienne's lawyer advising of Gallienne's dismissal. The offer of severance is rescinded.
• March 7, 1990: The Whig-Standard publishes a story on Gallienne's notice in the church bulletin saying he's leaving the church and Kingston
• Sept. 17, 1990: Gallienne pleads guilty to 20 sex abuse charges involving 13 boys, some as young as eight
• Oct. 2, 1990: Gallienne is sentenced to four and a half years in prison
• 1992: Gallienne pleads guilty to three more charges after a 14th victim speaks to police. Eighteen months are added to his prison sentence.
• 1994: Gallienne is convicted of two more sex charges involving a victim at St. John's Anglican church in Victoria, where he was choirmaster from 1970 to 1974. He receives one year in prison for each charge but his six-year sentence isn't increased.
• 1994: Bishop Peter Mason of the Diocese of Ontario (Kingston) hand-delivers to Gallienne in prison a two-page document that bans him from any involvement in church music programs or positions of leadership in Anglican churches of the diocese. The Ottawa diocese also adopts the ban. Gallienne was paroled from prison later that year.
• 1995: 11 former choirboys and 10 parents share a $2.1-million settlement that ends a lawsuit against the cathedral and the Ontario diocese
• Oct. 2, 1996: Gallienne's sentence expires, meaning he is no longer subject to any supervision or restrictions
• April 14, 2010: Kingston Police arrest Gallienne in Ottawa and charge him with one count of indecent assault related to the sexual assault of a boy between 1980 and 1982

Here is an excerpt from the document that set out a ban imposed by Anglican Church leaders in eastern Ontario in 1994. It barred Gallienne from ever again leading choirs or musical programs or of holding a position of leadership:

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Who killed Sharmini Anandavel?

Precisely 10 years ago today, 15-year-old Sharmini Anandavel left her Toronto, Ontario, apartment, telling her parents she had a new job to go to. Four months later, Sharmini's skeletal remains were found (video of body scene) scattered in a ravine about two kilometres from her home. Her murder has never been solved. But police have always had a good suspect, convicted stalker Stanley Tippett, who is back behind bars. A detective who spent a year trying to solve Sharmini's murder says Tippett was never "eliminated" as the possible killer.

This story by Rob Lamberti appeared in August 2008 in the Toronto Sun, after Tippett was arrested and charged with abducting and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old Peterborough girl.
Retired Toronto cop Jim Crowley remembers the wooded scene where the remains of 15-year-old Sharmini Anandavel were discovered nine years ago.

Her skull and bone fragments were found scattered over almost a hectare of a wooded ravine in Don East Parklands four months after she vanished in June 1999.

"It was ... terrible," he said. "I felt so bad for the family. They are a lovely, lovely family. It was awful. It was not a pretty sight."

Stanley Tippett was the prime suspect then, and now that he is in custody in Peterborough accused of abducting and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl, the former homicide cop who was in charge of the 33 Division detective office when Sharmini disappeared says the unsolved murder case should be reopened.

"Oh, absolutely," he said Thursday. "I mean, everything was eliminated and he was not eliminated ... there was an awful lot of circumstances that would not totally eliminate Tippett."

Tippett was a neighbour of Sharmini's family and had been interviewed three times by the homicide team of Matt Crone and Greg McLane.

Toronto homicide squad Det.-Sgt. Peter Callaghan said the unit has offered to help the Peterborough and Durham detectives in their investigation, but stopped short of saying whether Tippett is being looked at again in Sharmini's death.

"It hasn't changed anything in our investigation at this point in time, unless we receive some new information," Callaghan said.

Tippett was acquainted with the murder victim, Crowley said.

"He lived in the same building and he had spoken to her a few times, and was offering her, as I recall, jobs, and he had an application form which I think she had filled out," Crowley said.

Sharmini, a student at Woodbine Junior High School who loved Smarties and mango juice, disappeared after she had contacted a man who asked her to fill out a job application for a job with the non-existent "Metro Search Unit."
Tippett has acknowledged previously that he knew Sharmini and helped her get a job. He said he gave her rides to a swimming pool. Tippett is expected to be tried in August 2009 for the abduction and assault. Since his arrest and his court appearances began in Peterborough, things have taken a bizarre turn. His wife appeared in court as well as another woman claiming to be his pregnant fiance. Tippett's mother Susan Anderson also has appeared in court. She told reporters she doesn't believe her son's story of having been abducted the day he was charged with snatching the 12-year-old Peterborough girl:
It makes me stick to my stomach. He needs professional help. There is something wrong with him, he's not normal.

The Toronto Star has been covering Stanley Tippett's criminal exploits for the past decade:
As usual, netizens have hunted down more on Tippett, including this post about a Facebook profile on the Los Angeles, California network. As often happens in these cases, there's also a Tippett lynch mob group on Facebook.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

'Grave sexual violence' no match for mandatory penalty

Would Canada's justice system really treat a parole violator more harshly than a violent sexual predator? It's happening, thanks in part, to the obsession of some in law enforcement and in government with mandatory minimum sentences. Those automatic penalties sometimes make a mockery of sentences for other horribly destructive and violent crimes, like child sexual abuse.
Compare these two cases:

» Paul Pomerleau violently abused four children and a 19-year-old woman over a span of five years. The victims are all siblings in one family. Pomerleau was a beloved family friend and regular babysitter. One victim estimated he was fondled and anally raped, perhaps as many as 30 times, beginning when he was eight years old. Pomerleau was babysitting a young girl in the family when he grabbed her hair and forced her to fellate him until she choked as he ejaculated in her throat. She estimated she was forced to perform the sickening ritual 10 times, beginning when she 11 or 12. Many more violations are documented in the court record.

Pomerleau was sentenced to six and a half years in prison

» Troy R. McQuay, 29, was caught by police in Hamilton, Ontario, with a loaded handgun, 400 grams of magic mushrooms and a small quantity of ecstasy. McQuay was on parole at the time. He pleaded guilty to possession of a loaded prohibited handgun and three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking. Because it was his second gun-related conviction, a five-year minimum sentence kicked in, but the judge upped the ante.

McQuay was sentenced to seven years in prison.

To review:
Violent, beastly, sexual predator: 6.5 years
Parole violator with gun and drugs: 7 years

Six and a half years for what a judge called "grave sexual violence" that tore apart a family and caused decades of mental anguish for five victims, but a six-month longer sentence for simply having a gun and a small quantity of drugs. McQuay wasn't caught using the gun during a crime and there's no suggestion he was planning to commit one.

Regardless of all the arguments about the deterrent effect of getting a gun-toting crook off the street, is it really reasonable that McQuay gets more time than Pomerleau? Consider this snippet from the recent decision from the judge in the Pomerleau case:

With respect to the victim S.B., he reported the offences to the police in November of 2007 when he was 36 years of age and finally ready to disclose the harm which he suffered. Mr. S.B. was born in October of 1971 and stated that some time when he was aged 8 to 10, he was at the defendant’s home right next to his own residence and had occasion to see the defendant masturbating. Mr. S.B. was called over by the defendant who asked him to try it. The defendant took hold of one of the hands of the victim, placed it on the defendant’s penis and asked him to stroke the penis. Shortly after the defendant asked the victim to suck the defendant’s penis. Thereafter, the defendant asked the Mr. S.B. to place himself face down on a table and the defendant then inserted his penis into the anus of the victim. The forced anal intercourse continued until the defendant withdrew his penis prior to ejaculating, which occurred on the body of Mr. S.B.

To be precise, Mr. S.B. reported 20 to 30 similar sexual encounters which lasted until he reached the age of 15, when he moved away.

Those are just the basic facts regarding one victim.

What does it say to five children (one teen) who were raped, sodomized – sexually tortured – for five years, that the justice system dealt more sternly with a rule breaker caught with a gun than with the deviant who destroyed a family?

The federal government is charging ahead with plans for more mandatory minimum penalties, at a time when American jurisdictions are abandoning the measures as failures that have not reduced crime or made communities safer.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How child molesters are made

What makes a child molester, like Christopher Robin Karasek? Surprisingly, it isn't a history of childhood sexual abuse. A report prepared by researchers working for Canada's public safety department found that past abuse doesn't doom a person to become an abuser:
Although a history of abuse is associated with a large increase in the relative risk of becoming a sexual abuser, most victims of child sexual abuse do not become abusers, and most abusers were not abused themselves. There is no single risk factor that determines whether somebody will eventually sexually abuse a child.
The review looked at 89 studies that compared child molesters to non-offenders, non-sexual offenders and rapists. Karasek, an Edmonton man who is the namesake of the angelic young boy in the Winnie the Pooh stories, admitted molesting at least 50 boys, some as young as two. He was declared a dangerous offender. It's Canada's version of a lock-em-up-and-throw-away-the-key sentence. Dangerous offenders can be confined in prison forever. Few are ever released and most die behind bars.

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Monday, March 9, 2009

A predator on the loose

Cancrime first introduced pedophile Walter Jacobson (inset) in December 2008 [first post]. Below you'll find a decade of decisions by parole authorities who struggled to control this persistent child predator when the courts failed to brand him a dangerous offender - a decision that could have kept him locked up indefinitely. Jacobson, who preyed on hundreds of children and who amassed dozens of convictions in a 40-year crime spree has been free from prison since 2005. The National Parole Board and the Correctional Service of Canada no longer have any control over him. Jacobson never killed, mutilated or maimed his victims. That's one of the reasons he wasn't locked up forever, despite the monstrous amount of psychological damage he inflicted. You'll discover in the parole documents that Jacobson once admitted that there were victims for which he was never charged or convicted.

These records represent six different parole hearings, beginning in July 1995, when the board noted his "overwhelming history of deviant sexual offending," and ordered him kept in prison as long as possible. Jacobson turns 67 on May 8.

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