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Pedophile priest leaps to death

10-14-2010 Canada:

OTTAWA - A pedophile priest convicted in the 1980s of sexually assaulting seven altar boys killed himself Tuesday.

Though police are not confirming his identity, sources say the man found dead at the base of a 24-storey west-end highrise is Dale Crampton.

A neighbour discovered him next to the building at about 5 a.m. The disgraced former priest had leapt to his death.

Crampton, who at one time was highly revered in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese at Ottawa's St. Maurice parish, pleaded guilty in 1986 to indecently assaulting seven altar boys over the course of about a decade.

The one-time Catholic school board trustee and RCMP chaplain served eight months in prison.

"It was a tragic story all the way through," said Ottawa Police Sgt. Al McConnell, who led the investigation that ended in Crampton's conviction. "There was a lot of damaged boys and people slamming doors in our faces because they couldn't believe at that time a priest could be (molesting boys). He was a very popular priest and a lot of people had difficulties with that case."

The conviction wasn't the end of Crampton's sordid story.

Crampton's misdeeds came back to haunt him last year when a historical victim, only known publicly as Alex, launched a $2-million civil lawsuit against Crampton and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Ottawa.

The 41-year-old claimant was a 14-year-old altar boy when Crampton sexually molested him as they watched a hockey game in the rectory of St. Maurice parish.

The Archdiocese of Ottawa came to an undisclosed settlement with the victim on Oct. 9, 2009. Just over a year later, Crampton is dead, leaving only a note with instructions detailing whom to contact about his death and little else.

Calls to the Archdiocese of Ottawa for comment were not immediately returned Wednesday.

Throughout the 2009 case, another six victims came forward, said Rob Talach, the London, Ont., lawyer who represented Alex.

"They ranged from ambivalence to true sadness. I mean, no one celebrates the loss of life," Talach said of the victims' reactions to news of Crampton's death.

"There was a common theme that those in the process of seeking some form of closure felt that would now be incomplete."

McConnell couldn't confirm Crampton's death Wednesday, but said if true, "it closes a very unpleasant chapter in a lot of people's lives."

"This whole thing has been a tragedy, not only for the victims, but for the church, for the state, for society and for the priest himself," McConnell said. ..Source.. by JUSTIN SADLER, QMI Agency

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