Stop Deaf Child Sexual Abuse


By Emilio Ferreiro - 10 December 2019

International Sign

First report

In 2010.


Montreal Institute for the Deaf and Mute, operated by the Clerics of St Viateur between 1848 and 1983 (Montreal, Quebec).

Number of victims

60 former students of the Institute filed a class-action suit claiming they were sexually abused by priests in the school. The initial class-action was joined by other former students, bringing the total number of plaintiffs claiming abuse to 150 students. Most of the boys were around 10 or 11 years old at the time; some were as young as seven.

Term of abuses

40 years (between 1942 and 1982).


38 people: 33 priests and religious staff and five laypeople. At the top of the list is Father Anthime Paiement, accused of sexual assault by 24 young boys at the Institute. Then came Brother Philippe Paquette, who 10 victims said repeatedly assaulted them. Brother Gérard Barrette, was accused by seven plaintiffs in the class action suit of anal rape, among other things. The list of abusers also includes the director of the institute, the nurse, the dormitory supervisor, and the priest at the confessional.

Victims of sexual abuse by les Clercs de St-Viateurs, men show pictures of themselves as youths, Feb. 1, 2013 (photo: Pierre Obendrauf / Montreal Gazette)

Current Situation

The claims by former students were not legally contested by the Clerics of St Viateur. This led to a settlement in 2016 of $30 million from the Clerics of St Viateur and The Raymond Dewar Institute. The settlement was the largest settlement ever awarded for a sexual abuse case in Quebec history.


Documentary from Radio-Canada (English captioning)