Skip to main content

A Roman Catholic Oblate brother who worked at two British Columbia residential schools has been charged with more than three dozen sex offences against native boys.

The 36 charges against Glen William Doughty, 62, date from the 1960s and 1970s and involve 13 young people, ranging from age 6 to 18.

The counts include indecent assault on a male, gross indecency and buggery. The alleged crimes occurred when Mr. Doughty was a child-care worker and supervisor at St. Joseph's Residential School in Williams Lake and the Kuper Residential School off the east coast of Vancouver Island.

This is the second time Mr. Doughty has been charged with sex crimes stemming from his tenure at the two schools. He was convicted in 1991 on four counts of gross indecency against four children at St. Joseph's School.

Mr. Doughty now lives in Ottawa and RCMP have issued a warrant for his arrest. Police said Mr. Doughty's lawyer has told them he will turn himself in to Nanaimo RCMP's detachment next week.

Reached at his home in Ottawa, Mr. Doughty refused to discuss the charges. "My lawyer has advised me not to talk to anyone."

St. Joseph's school in Williams Lake, where some of the alleged crimes occurred, was among the most notorious residential schools in British Columbia.

Its former principal, Bishop Hubert O'Connor, was convicted in 1996 of sexually assaulting two young native women during the 1960s, the same era when Mr. Doughty worked there.

Another brother, Harold McIntee, was convicted of molesting boys as well.

The school has since been torn down.

The charges came as a relief to natives in Williams Lake, approximately 200 kilometres south of Prince George.

Charlene Belleau praised complainants who came forward to police. "I admire their courage. They deserve our support."

By contrast, she said, natives were dismayed at Mr. Doughty's last trial in Williams Lake when many community leaders praised the brother's contributions to the community.

Ms. Belleau said the support voiced for Mr. Doughty was an insult to his victims.

The charges against Mr. Doughty were laid by a special RCMP task force that was set up in 1995 to investigate allegations of sexual abuse at native residential schools. In B.C., there were 14 such residential schools. Across Canada there were more than 200. They were mandatory for many native children and operated from the 1880s to the 1980s.

In theory, the schools were designed to teach native children English but in hindsight they are regarded as a failed experiment that contributed in part to some of the shocking social conditions that exist today on reserves, from violence and alcohol abuse to high suicide rates.

The federal government subcontracted churches to operate the schools. In British Columbia the schools were run by the Roman Catholic, Anglican and United churches.

The RCMP task force was set up in 1995 after officers investigating a complaint of sexual abuse at one of the schools realized that the abuse was rampant, Staff Sergeant Peter Eakins said.

Complaints came from former students from all 14 residential schools. So far, the task force has more than 3,400 complaints on file from former students who have named about 170 suspects.

However, only five people have been charged thus far, which Staff Sgt. Eakins attributed to faulty memories due to the passage of time.

The revelations of sex abuse at residential schools have prompted a rash of civil suits by natives against churches. To date, more than 2,000 suits have been filed against Ottawa and the churches that were contracted to run the schools.

Staff Sgt. Eakins said the RCMP task force is also investigating abuse allegations at three other defunct residential schools in B.C.