Former students of deaf school seek to sue over alleged abuse
A man who claims he was physically and sexually abused as a child while he attended an institute for the hearing impaired is seeking to sue a group of Quebec Catholic priests.
Serge D'Arcy, 54, is requesting to launch the class-action suit on behalf of hundreds of former students at L'institut des sourdes de Montreal, a home for deaf boys on St. Laurent Blvd.
The suit seeks $100,000 to $200,000 per victim. D'Arcy is accusing four members of the Clercs de St. Viateur, the priests who ran the school, of perpetrating the abuse. He also implicates the Institut Raymond-Dewar, a rehabilitation centre specializing in deafness and communication, the building where the school was once held.
D'Arcy, who said the abuse started when he was eight, and several others allege they suffered regular sexual abuse and beatings at the hands of priests.
D'Arcy, Daniel Cormier and Gilles Read, also students at the home, described to CTV's Caroline van Vlaardingen Wednesday the terrible abuse they endured and witnessed.
"They were hitting our heads on our desks, teaching us (offensive) words we didn't know." said Cormier.
"They twisted my fingers and abused me physically," said D'Arcy.
"When a student came out from under a desk, I saw him wiping his mouth and then I saw the director standing up, putting his pants back on," said Read, adding that the children were punished for telling anyone.
"They would punish them even harder, you know, on top of the abuse. They would get beaten because they were told that they were lying."
While it's undetermined how many former students may become part of a class-action lawsuit, hundreds of boys attended the school in the 1950s and 1960s, when the alleges abuse was taking place.