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Upcoming events


THE OTTAWA SCHOOL OF THEATRE presents an all ages production of Treasure Island in the Richcraft Theatre at the Shenkman Arts Centre. Showtimes Thursday, April 18 and Friday, April 19 at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 20 and Sunday, April 21 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets $20 for adults. Students and youth 25 and under $10. To purchase visit /www.tickettailor.com/events/ ottawaschooloftheatre?

TAPROOM 260 presents Michael Ben-Shalom live from 8-11 p.m. at 260 Centrum Blvd. For more information visit https://taproom260.com/events/.

TAPROOM 260 presents The Underground live from 8-11 p.m. at 260 Centrum Blvd. For more information visit https://taproom260.com/events/.

CLASSIC PIANO RECITAL – Orléans pianist Emily Hou will be performing works by Chopin, Mozart, Rachmaninov and Liszt at Kanata United Church as part os the Beaverbrook Community Concert Series. The recital will start promptly at 3 p.m. Kanata United Church is located at 33 Leacock Dr. in Kanata. For more information visit beaverbrookccs.ca/ 2024/03/24/april-21-emily-hou.

THE ORLÉANS BREWING CO. Trivia Night from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Call (613) 834-9005 to reserve your spot. The Orléans Brewing Co. is located at 4380 Innes Rd. near the Innes Road McDonalds.

GRANDMAS AIDING GRANDMAS 10th Annual Card Party from 12:30p.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Helen’s Church, 1234 Prestone Dr. Tickets $35 includes lunch, door prizes, raffle and market. Call Barbara at 613-824-3524 or Sue at 613-834-4706.

 

 

Class action lawsuit launched against Catholic school board and former St. Matt's teacher convicted of sexual assaulting former students
Fred Sherwin
Feb. 16, 2024

Two former students at St. Matthew High School who were victim's of convicted former teacher Rick Despatie, have launched a $220 million class action lawsuit against the Ottawa Catholic School Board for "aggressively downplaying, diminishing and discounting" multiple complaints brought against Despatie between Jan. 1 1989 and April 30, 2022. Despatie is also being sued as part of the civil action.

Despatie was found guilty on four counts each of sexual assualt and sexual interference, two counts of criminal harrassment, and one count of sexual exploitation last September. He was sentenced to serve two years in prison In January, but is currently out on bail and while he appeals the conviction.

Although the charges stemmed from incidents involving four former students, many more students had brought allegations against him. A number of those allegations were made public on various social media platforms when a criminal investiagtion against was made public on April 21, 2022. That investigation eventually lead to 52 charges being brought against him by the Crown Attorney's office. They were later reduced to 24 charges in an effort to keep the trial reasonably brief with the greatest chance of conviction.

Some of the allegations leveled against Despatie go back to his earliest days at the school where he coached the junior girls basketball team for over 10 years and there are numerous reports of allegations being brought to the attention of a number of principals and vice-principals who served at the school over the years, and little if anything was done about it. One principal allegedly told a parent that there was very little that could be done about the allegations brought against Despatie unless he was caught in the act.

The lawsuit claims that the school board bears the ultimate responsibility for Despatie's ongoing crimes against former students, some of whom were as young as 16, as they failed to do anything about it and then tried to cover it up.

According to the filing, the Ottawa Catholic School Board had “pertinent documents … emails, internal communications, reports of misconduct and investigative files" regarding prior complaints about Despatie, and that they "failed to preserve and maintain crucial documents, emails, records, and other evidence."

The complaitants in the suit referred to as Jane Doe # 1 and Jane Doe # 2 are claiming $50 million in damages against Despatie for sexual assault, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of confidence, breach of trust and negligence, $25 million in aggravated damages and $25 million in punitive and exemplary damages.

They are asking for another $120 million in damages from the school board. Whatever settlement they receive will be shared with other students who were victims of Despatie's behavior between 1989 and 2022.

 
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