Priest's Fondling of Boy Recounted
John Swales Described an Encounter in a Car That Was the Start of Four Years of Sexual Experiences

By Peter Geigen-Miller
Free Press [Canada]
June 12, 2003

A London man described yesterday how a driving lesson on a country road near Dorchester ended with a Catholic priest fondling him. John Swales said the priest, Barry Glendinning, fondled him after sliding a hand into his pants.It happened in the early fall of 1969 on a gravel road between Dorchester and Nilestown after Glendinning allowed the 11-year-old Swales to sit on his lap and steer the priest's car.

Swales said he was sliding back into the vehicle's passenger seat when the fondling occurred. Minutes later, the priest performed oral sex on him, he said.

Swales was testifying on the third day of the civil trial in which he, his brothers Ed and Guy and their family are seeking more than $7 million in damages from Glendinning and the Roman Catholic Diocese of London for pain and suffering resulting from sexual abuse by the priest.

The diocese has denied negligence.

Swales told how the encounter on the gravel road was the start of nearly four years of sexual experiences with Glendinning that occurred in the priest's quarters at St. Peter's Seminary in London and on camping trips.

Swales said he often visited Glendinning alone at the seminary but two or three other children sometimes joined in.

There, they smoked cigarettes and cigars, consumed alcohol, dressed up in costumes, took nude showers, engaged in nude body painting and massaged each other with baby oil, Swales testified.

He also fired a .22 calibre rifle and a pellet gun owned by Glendinning from the windows of the seminary, he said.

Swales said he visited the seminary at least 300 times from 1969 to 1974 and probably stayed overnight 200 times.

Sexual activities occurred on many visits and he often slept in the priest's bed, Swales said.

He said he first met Glendinning at a church-run summer camp in the summer of As a friendship blossomed, the priest took him to movies, shared pizzas and took him on hikes and camping trips.

They had discussions about theology, sex, drugs and the possibility of Swales becoming a priest.

Swales said he welcomed the attention paid by Glendinning and developed a strong bond with him.

"It was good to have someone listening to me," he said. "I got some validation."

His trust in the priest made the sexual encounter on the gravel road all the more shocking, his testimony showed.

"I thought it was bloody weird. It was a mind-blowing experience."

Swales said he didn't tell anyone what had happened because he wasn't sure how to respond and didn't want to jeopardize the attention he was getting from Glendinning.


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