Four years for sex assault

by Richard Gleeson
Northern News Services

INUVIK (Aug 08/97) - Jerzy George Maczynski has been sentenced to four years in prison for six sexual assaults he committed in the late 1960s at Grollier Hall.

He is the first of three suspects to be sentenced after a massive investigation of sexual assault at the former student residence.

Former boy's supervisor Paul Leroux is scheduled to appear in Yellowknife Aug. 19 to face 40 counts of sexual assault. Another former Grollier Hall worker, John Louie Comeau, 63, is charged with two counts of sexual assault. Now a resident of Vancouver, he is expected to make his first court appearance in Inuvik Aug. 25.

For Maczynski's victims, the sentence, handed down Wednesday in Yellowknife by territorial court Judge Brian Bruser, is an important step in a recovery process.

"To have your childhood stolen in this way breeds feelings of outrage in the community and no sentence can rectify what was done," said Crown prosecutor Ulla Arvenetes.

Whether the sentence will have much of an impact on Maczynski, however, is another question. He is currently serving the second year of a 16-year sentence for sexual assault committed at Lower Post residential school near Watson Lake, Yukon.

When he is eligible for parole in 2006, and begins serving time for the Grollier assaults, he will 75 years old.

Maczynski is already a very different person than he was at the time he committed the crimes, in 1966 and 1967. Now 67 years old, he moves with only with the aid of a walker.

Defence lawyer Greg Nearing told the court that Maczynski spent much of his youth in Eastern Europe and served time in oppressive Soviet work camps in eastern Siberia.

"As a child he saw atrocities. As a child soldier he was forced to kill. He is a victim of what he was charged with today," Nearing said.

"As so often happens, prey become predator."

Maczynski, for his part, said he is no longer a threat to anyone. "I've lost complete sexual interest, either female or child since my spinal operation," he said. "My greatest enjoyment is ladies' company."