How a sexual assault victim's lawsuit set a precedent that alarmed the Catholic Church

When priests are found guilty of sexual abuse, the Roman Catholic Church follows a familiar script: offer money to the victim, settle out of court and avoid a public trial.

Usually, it works. Rod MacLeod refused to settle.

Instead, he hired Rob Talach, a lawyer based in London, Ont. — known as "the priest hunter" — and insisted on his day in court.

This legal case is the subject of a film called Prey, which premieres this month at Hot Docs, Canada's largest documentary film festival.

'He'd start by tickling you'

MacLeod was a 13-year-old student at St. Charles College, an all-boys school in Sudbury, Ont., when his physical education teacher, a Basilian priest named William Hodgson Marshall, began to sexually assault him. The attacks continued for four years.

The school's gym was located down the hall from the showers, and students had to pass Father Marshall's office en route.

"That's where he would grab you and pull you in," MacLeod told The Sunday Edition host Michael Enright.

"He would kind of pin you between his desk and his chair. He would put his leg up so that it was like an enclosure ... and then he'd start by tic...

Read the rest of the story here.


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