Nun, 97, at former Ontario residential school arrested in sexual assault case

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Published October 13, 2023 at 3:24 pm

Nun 97 arrested sexual assault
Ontario Provincial Police say they have arrested and charged a 97-year-old nun and former teacher in a historic sexual assault case with alleged incidents dating back decades to residential and day schools in northern Ontario. An OPP vehicle is shown parked in Toronto on Tuesday, April 11, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tammy Hoy

A 97-year-old nun has been arrested and charged in a sexual assault case involving allegations dating back decades to an infamous residential school in northern Ontario.

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) said Francoise Seguin of Ottawa was arrested this week after an individual contacted police in late 2022 about the alleged assaults.

The incidents are alleged to have taken place in the 1960s and ’70s at St. Anne’s residential school in Fort Albany First Nation and Bishop Belleau school in Moosonee, as well as a detention facility in Sudbury, said OPP spokesperson Bill Dickson.

“The case involved one victim,” said Dickson, noting the individual was a “young person” at the time of the alleged incidents. “We are not aware of any others but cannot speculate.”

St. Anne’s operated in Fort Albany until 1967 and survivors have said children at the school were sexually abused, punished with shocks delivered by electric chairs and forced to eat their own vomit.

A group of survivors from the residential school had been fighting the federal government for a decade to release thousands of records they believed detailed abuse at St. Anne’s, which could have helped with federal compensation for those who suffered physical and sexual abuse at the institution.

The Supreme Court of Canada said in 2022 it would not hear their case.

Four former staff members have been convicted on charges such as indecent assault, assault causing bodily harm, assault and administering a noxious substance, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation said on its website.

The OPP says Seguin has been charged with three counts of gross indecency, a repealed Criminal Code offence originating from antiquated sodomy laws which used today in some historical sexual assault cases. The allegations have not yet been proven in court.

The nun and former teacher is scheduled to appear in court in Moosonee on Dec. 5.

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