The Paul Leroux trial wrapped up Tuesday afternoon in a Battlefords courtroom.
Leroux, a former boys’ dormitory supervisor at the Beauval Indian Residential School during the 1960’s, faces numerous sexual assault charges.
Prosecutor Mitch Piché says he believes the Crown has put forward a strong case for conviction with each of the complainants giving remarkably consistent testimony considering the amount of time that has passed.
“Their recollection of the place, the time, the school, the culture of the place and everything that happened there is remarkably consistent with the hard evidence we had in this trial,” he says.
In his final arguments, Leroux, who is representing himself at the trial, questioned dates and times given by witnesses and said his accusers are motivated by money and the media attention a 1998 conviction for various sexual assaults against him generated.
It was at this time that he was found guilty of a number of sexual crimes involving boys while a dorm supervisor at a residential school in Inuvik in the 1970’s.
Overall, Leroux told the court that the statements of the 14 complainants who have brought the charges against him lack credibility.
“The only glaring similarity is the contradictions that have been given under oath,” he said.
Piché says because of the length of time that has elapsed and the age of the complainants at the time, it is not surprising that some witnesses have difficulty remembering specific dates, times and places of events as they were alleged to have occurred.
Nevertheless, he says there is consistency in terms of the key and relevant parts of testimony and the allegations of sexual assault against the former dorm supervisor.
Both sides are due back in court on Tuesday Nov. 4 when a decision will be rendered.
Just as the Leroux trial was wrapping up, a Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations vice-chief led a march past the Battleford courthouse.
Kimberly Jonathan says the FSIN must continue to raise awareness for residential school survivors and adds Canadians have very little knowledge of the reality of the abuses and horrors First Nations people endured.
She also says former students of the Beauval Indian Residential School who have testified at the trial need a show of support.
The march began at the Sunchild Law Office, just south of Battleford.
Marchers walked past Court of Queen’s Bench and concluded their walk at the Battleford Centre.