Victim impact statements delayed in Anglican priest’s sexual abuse case

David Norton leaves the courthouse Feb 28, 2018, after pleading guilty to a charge of sexual interference in a separate case. Liny Lamberink / 980 CFPL

A former Anglican priest convicted of sexually abusing four First Nations boys decades ago was expected to hear from victims Friday in a London courtroom on Friday, but proceedings have been rescheduled for next month.

David Norton was found guilty of three counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual assault back in November in a case involving men who said the 72-year-old abused them while they were altar boys at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Chippewa of the Thames First Nation in the 1970s and ’80s.

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The victims came from troubled backgrounds and grew to see Norton as father figure who provided attention and affection.

Norton, who had pleaded not guilty to the charges, testified earlier in the trial that he’d invite the boys over to his apartment frequently to “treat them” to things like day trips, movies and food that their parents couldn’t afford. He also told the court the boys would wear their street clothes to bed and that he had no physical contact with them beyond hugs.

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The victims, however, have said Norton would give them pajamas to sleep in and would sleep in their bed. They testified Norton would kiss them on the lips and initiate physical contact like rubbing their thighs and that they’d wake up groggy from sleepovers covered in a white substance they later realized to be semen.

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In handing down her decision in November, Superior Court Justice Lynda Templeton said she’d didn’t believe Norton’s evidence and questioned why he’d force the boys to wear their street clothes or share a bedroom with him if he was “treating them” to comforts and luxuries they couldn’t afford.

The London Free Press reports that proceedings were delayed “because the parties weren’t prepared to make submissions” and that victim impact statements are now expected February 19.

Norton is currently serving four years in prison for sexually assaulting an underage London boy in the 1990s.

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