Seminary Sex Abuse Recounted

Peter Geigen-Miller
London Free Press [Canada]
Downloaded June 17, 2003

A woman testified yesterday she watched "dirty" movies on television while her brother and a Catholic priest were in an adjacent bedroom at St. Peter's Seminary. The woman, whose identity can't be released under terms of a court order, said she went to Barry Glendinning's quarters at the seminary hundreds of times between 1969 and 1974.

The witness was eight years old in the fall of 1969 when the visits started.

Sometimes, she'd stay in the living room of the apartment and watch TV while her brother and Glendinning went into the bedroom, she said.

She told the court she wasn't sure what she was watching on TV but saw images of naked people on the screen.

The woman was testifying at the civil trial in which Glendinning and the Roman Catholic Diocese of London are being sued by John, Guy and Ed Swales and their family for $7 million.

The Swales brothers say they suffered sexual abuse at the hands of Glendinning during visits to the seminary and on camping trips and other outings.

Glendinning pleaded guilty in 1974 to gross indecency involving children.

Yesterday, at the start of the second week of the civil trial, the woman testified Glendinning took her and her brother to the priest's room at the seminary and engaged with them in nude body painting and nude massages.

On one occasion, Glendinning forced her and her brother to perform a simulated sex act while he watched, she said.

When her brother was reluctant to do as the priest asked, Glendinning twisted the boy's arm behind his back and forced him to comply, she said.

The woman said she didn't feel good about engaging in sexual activity but did it because "Father (Glendinning) wanted us to."

Court heard Glendinning encouraged her participation by taking her to stores, handing her his wallet and letting her buy whatever she wanted.

Since she came from a poor family, she welcomed the chance to acquire items for herself, she said. "It was great."

The woman ended up in foster care after she was found to have engaged in sexual activity with two young children of an older sister.

She also admitted to forcing two boys she met in foster care to engage in sexual activity.

Under cross-examination, she agreed she may have visited the seminary fewer than the 300 times she stated in her testimony.

But the visits were frequent, she said.

Later in the day, the court heard testimony from Guy Swales.

The trial continues


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