Years ago, when I started one this journey, I tried to get a grasp on the very opaque military justice system in this country. I downloaded a bunch of Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada decisions from the WestlawNext library.
The cases I had picked weren’t arbitrary. I was given the names of very specific cases to look for.
One of the Court Martial Appeal Court cases I downloaded was for a man named Corporal Donald Joseph Sullivan. In 1986 Mr. Sullivan was appealing the guilty finding of both of his 1985 courts martial.
Mr. Sullivan had been charged and prosecuted by the military justice system for committing acts of Gross Indecency with teenage boys on CFB Gagetown.
The CMAC ruling explained why the military could legally conduct a courts martial for certain sexal assaults against children, while not being to conduct a courts martial for other sexual assaults against children.
Basically, the Canadian Forces were relying on the “age of consent” laws in Canada. The Canadian Forces seemed to prosecute cases of child sexual abuse when the victims were over the age of 14. When the victims were under the age of 14 it appears that the military would simply drop the charges and proceed with other “serious” charges against the service member.
This explains why the “brass” dropped all of the charges against Captain McRae except for the charges relating to P.S., whom was the only boy over the age of 14 in the entire Captain McRae child sexual abuse fiasco.
By prosecuting Captain McRae and Corporal Donald Joseph Sullivan for comitting sexual acts with children over the age of 14, the military could portray these as homosexual acts that the teenage boys would have obviously consented to, therefore the crimes were not as serious as if the boys involved had not consented.
Anyways, when I first received the transcript of the CMAC decision for Corporal Sullivan’s appeal, I conducted a few Google searches for Donald Joseph Sullivan. Nothing ever came of these searches.
Just recently I was going through these WestlawNext files when I came across Corporal Donald Joseph Sullivan’s file. I decided to Google Mr. Sullivan’s name again.
Well, this time I got a hit.
There was a Donald Joseph Sullivan in an Ottawa court on August 13th, 2019.
He had been charged with sexually abusing numerous children while he had been a Scout Leader during the ’70s.
According to the news story, this wasn’t the first time in recent times that Mr. Sullivan was in front of a judge to answer for his crimes against children.
In 2005, Mr. Sullivan went to jail for 9 months for two counts of sexual interference.
According to the newspaper story, in the ’70s the police investigated him, but charges were never proceeded with at the time.
Right now I’m just waiting for verification that Scout Leader Donald Joseph Sullivan and Canadian Armed Forces Corporal Donal Joseph Sullivan are one and the same.
What are the odds?
And without criminal charges, would anything have prevented Mr. Sullivan from joinging the Canadian Armed Forces?
And if these two Donald Joseph Sullivans are one and the same, this opens up a whole Pandora’s box of questions.