Legal action filed on behalf of children abused by military priest

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The claim says that the federal government was responsible for McRae’s abusive behavior on bases where he was stationed across the country

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Kevin Martin FILE PHOTO: A Canadian flag sits on top of a member of the Canadian Armed Forces in Trenton, Ontario on Thursday, October 16, 2014. FILE PHOTO: A Canadian flag sits on top of a member of the Canadian Armed Forces in Trenton, Ontario on Thursday, October 16, 2014. Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS / Lars Hagberg

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Hundreds of children have been mentally, physically and sexually abused by a Canadian Armed Forces priest in a class action lawsuit filed by two Calgary lawyers.

In the lawsuit, filed in the Calgary Court of Queen’s Bench, attorneys Clint Docken and Mathew Farrell seek compensation for Bobbie Bees and others led by Capt. Angus McRae, a priest who worked as a chaplain on various military bases, were molested.

The federal crown defendant complaint states that Bees, the assistant plaintiff in the case, grew up on various military bases and lived with CFB Namao in Edmonton from 1978 to 1980.

“Throughout the plaintiff’s tenure at Canadian Forces Base Namao, the plaintiff has faced numerous cases of psychological, physical and sexual abuse by Captain Father Angus McRae … and his substitute boy PS,” the complaint states.

McRae, who died in 2011, was a military officer from 1973.

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“In his position as an officer, McRae held a position of power over the many underage children who live on the Canadian military base in Namao. McRae used this position of power granted to him by the defendant Canada to mentally, physically and sexually abuse hundreds of children. “

The claim says that the federal government was responsible for McRae’s abusive behavior on bases where he was stationed across the country.

“The defendant, Canada, knew, or should have known, of the physical, sexual and psychological abuse that plaintiffs have been subjected to at the Canadian Forces base in Namao and other Canadian Forces bases across the country. Defendant Canada has failed and failed to prevent the physical and mental abuse of the plaintiffs, “it says.

Abuse methods used by victims included private and public humiliation and humiliation; sexual assault; forced imprisonment; and isolation from plaintiffs’ families, she claims.

Court-martial transcripts – released by the military last year following postmedia articles in August and September of the Department of Defense’s and military’s ongoing efforts to prevent Bees’ efforts to obtain the documents – showed McRae taking children to his Edmonton quarters Base and gave them alcohol before sexually abusing them.

The 1980 transcripts show that the military knew the pedophile priest had multiple victims and was aware of previous allegations against McRae related to incidents in Kingston and Cornwall, Ontario.

A statement of defense refuting the allegations, which were not considered in court, was not filed.

– With files from the Ottawa citizen

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On Twitter: @KMartinCourts

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