CP, June 3, 1998

Former orphan tells of abuse

ST. JOHN'S, Nfld. (CP) _ A 55-year-old man who claims he was sexually assaulted as a boy at the Mount Cashel orphanage said Tuesday he forgives his alleged abuser. ``I have no hatred for him,'' the man testified at the trial of Gerard Kevin Barry, a former Christian Brother.

``I hate what he did to me, but I forgive him. I wish he would open up and tell so he could get on with his life.'' Barry, 70, of Burlington, Ont., is facing five counts of sexual assault against the man who cannot be identified.

The complainant took the stand during the second day of Barry's Newfoundland Supreme Court trial. The retired music teacher broke down the minute he stepped in the witness box. He told Justice Robert Wells he has no trouble remembering the incidents, which are alleged to have occurred in the 1950s. He said Barry's favorite place to commit the acts was in the orphanage canteen.

``I remember the shape of his lips,'' he testified. ``I'll never forget the times he used to kiss me in the canteen. ``I don't know if he knows me, but I know him,'' he said looking directly at the accused. The complainant said the sexual abuse mostly occurred during laundry time at the former boy's home in St. John's. He said Barry would tell him to take a laundry basket and wait for him in the canteen.

``I'd wait in the dark and later on he'd come in and shut the door. He'd put his arms around me, hold me close and kiss me, put his tongue in my mouth. I didn't know about homosexuality, or pedophlia. I knew I liked girls and this was dirty, this was wrong, this was shameful. ``He'd turn me around and take my pants down and he'd have his penis out and put it between my legs,'' the man continued. ``All I could think was how I was going to get absolution.''

The complainant told of other incidents where he said Barry fondled his genitals in the dormitory and elsewhere. The offences against Barry are alleged to have occurred between 1954 and 1959, when the complainant would have been between 12 and 17 years old.

He is one of seven men charged with more than 50 counts of assault against 17 complainants who were boys at the orphanage during the period from 1950 to 1964.

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