Verdict expected today
Leroux, a former senior boys' supervisor, has plead guilty to nine charges of gross indecency

Glen Korstrom
Northern News Services

INUVIK (Aug 14/98) - A verdict in the Paul Leroux trial was expected today.

Leroux, a former senior boys' supervisor at Grollier Hall residential school between 1967 and 1979, has pleaded guilty to nine charges of gross indecency stemming from his time at the school.

Though the Crown dismissed 17 charges against Leroux on Monday, he still faces 12 charges of sexual abuse, which also allegedly took place at the school, to which he has pleaded not guilty. Six of the Crown's initial 44 charges were stayed.

The point of the Crown dismissing charges is to consolidate its evidence to make its case stronger on Leroux's guilty pleas.

Both the Crown and the defence agree Leroux invited teenagers to his room where he would give them food and alcohol while providing pornography. He then participated in genital fondling and oral sex with the boys.

The Crown and defence differ in areas such as the number of boys he had sex with, whether he photographed sex acts and how young some of his alleged victims were.

On Aug. 11, Justice John Vertes ruled against a motion from Leroux's lawyer, Jim Brydon, to have each count in the indictment treated separately so as to not prejudice each charge.

"I must remind myself everything against the accused is based on evidence in the charges and not on bad character," he said before Leroux took the stand.

Speaking softly but evenly for more than four hours, Leroux admitted he was wrong to have sex with nine teenage boys and he has pleaded guilty because he believes his acts were criminal.

He then denied sexual contact with the other 11 complainants.

"I saw them as more adult than they were," Leroux said after explaining he worshipped the boys.

His aim was "making them happy, making them feel good."

A little later he said "this does not excuse it but provides some insight."

Leroux, who was raised as a devout Roman Catholic in Granby, Quebec, said he was sexually abused when he sang in the church choir as a young teenager.

Still, he said he was not aware, at the time he was at the school, his actions were sexually abusive.

Though he admitted he took photos of naked boys at Grollier Hall, he denied he ever used photos he took for a sexual purpose.

At one point he strayed from a question to say he never showed anyone photos of naked Grollier Hall boys and destroyed all photos he took of naked boys while at the school.

Leroux, like some of the alleged victims, cried while giving testimony.

Earlier in the week, several alleged victims gave damning Crown testimony.

One man said Leroux held a knife to him when he was a boy, and forced him to perform sex acts.

Many mentioned a pattern escalating from hugs and kisses to genital fondling to oral sex and, in one case, to anal sex.

"A chill went down my spine," one witness said of his fear of Leroux's harassment.

Other witnesses said they were not scared, visited him often and that he was a friendly guy.