Man faces charges in 50-year-old sex assault case

Two charges have been laid in an historic sexual assault case dating back more than 50 years.

Police allege that in 1953, a teacher at St. Michael’s College School who was coaching an after-school basketball program asked a 15-year-old student to go into a private room at the school. The then-student, now in his 70s, came forward to police, and after several weeks of investigating, charges were laid.

Eighty-eight-year-old William Hodgson Marshall, who reportedly, lives in a retirement residence for Basilian priests in Toronto, has been charged with two counts of indecent assault. Police Constable Tony Vella said there is reason to believe there may be more victims.

“The fact that (Marshall) worked with kids at that point in 1953 and it’s alleged that he (assaulted) one boy, but he also had access to other children as well,” he said. “There’s a possibility there could be other victims.”

This is not the first time Marshall has been charged. According to the Windsor Star, he is also facing six charges dating to the 1950s and 1980s in Windsor where he served as principal during some of that time. A man in Sudbury also claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Marshall in the 1960s.

While St. Mike’s case was the oldest case Vella has heard of, he added that the amount of time that has elapsed has no bearing on the laws dealing with sexual assault.

“For myself, this is definitely an historic investigation,” he said. “(The laws) are the same … Time wouldn’t be a factor at all.”
Marshall is expected to be in court Nov. 3.

About this article:

By: Shawn Star
Posted: Nov 1 2010 5:42 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto