Former priest sentenced

Published September 1, 2001

Rev. James Townley-Smith was sentenced to 2 years in prison on each of three counts of indecent assault related to incidents involving boys at several Winnipeg parishes and at an Anglican summer camp.

The sentences, to run concurrently, were pronounced by Mr. Justice Nathan Nurgitz of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench in Winnipeg.

About a dozen men claimed they were sexually assaulted as children between 1965 and 1982. The diocese of Rupert’s Land, where the assaults took place, was the target of several civil lawsuits from men who allege abuse by Mr. Townley-Smith and Charles Griggs, Mr. Townley-Smith’s supervisor at a Winnipeg parish.

The two men were arrested in May, 1999. Mr. Griggs pleaded guilty last January to 11 of 34 charges involving sexual assault. He will be sentenced next month. The diocese has said the costs of the law suits and settlements have devastated it financially. Staff


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