Jun 11/98: Bishop may not go to trial again on sex charges


Canadian Press
June 11, 1998

[S.I.S.I.S. note: The following mainstream news article may contain biased or distorted information and may be missing pertinent facts and/or context. It is provided for reference only.]

VANCOUVER (CP) - A Roman Catholic bishop might be able to avoid a new trial on sex charges, a top B.C. justice official says. Ernie Quantz, the chief prosecutor in the Attorney General's Ministry, said Wednesday that Hubert O'Connor and two women complainants are considering an alternative aboriginal healing process.

O'Connor was cleared of indecent assault by the B.C. Court of Appeal in March.

But it also ordered a new trial on a rape charge involving a young woman 30 years ago at a native residential school near Williams Lake, B.C.

Quantz told CBC Radio the Crown may deem it in the public interest not to proceed with the case if the healing process is used.

Defence lawyer Chris Considine has argued that all parties should not have to be put through another trial.

OConnor, 71, was the highest Roman Catholic official in Canada ever convicted of a sex crime when he was found guilty in 1996.

He was sentenced to 2 1-2 years in prison but was released on $1,000 bail when he appealed after serving six months.

The court of appeal overturned the conviction in March.

Considine said at the time that his client had a bad heart and he hoped the Crown would think twice before putting him through another trial.

S.I.S.I.S. note: Deputy Attorney General Ernie Quantz is one of the unindicted co-conspirators in the Gustafsen Lake affair along with his superior, BC NDP Attorney General Ujjal Dosanjh. Mail a letter of protest to BC Premier Glen Clark: premier@gov.bc.ca

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