Ex-scout leader David Wolfe sentenced to 2 years for sex crimes

Former New Brunswick scout leader David Wolfe has been sentenced to two years in prison for sex-related charges involving four boys decades ago.

Decades-old case shows other molesters time won't protect them from their evil deeds, victim says

Former New Brunswick scout leader David Wolfe has been sentenced to two years in prison for sex-related charges involving four boys decades ago.

Wolfe, 70, who now lives in Halifax, was sentenced in Moncton provincial court on Friday.

Former New Brunswick scout leader David Wolfe previously pleaded guilty to four counts of indecent assault involving boys in the 1960s. (Kate Letterick/CBC)
He previously pleaded guilty to four counts of indecent assault, dating back to the 1960s, when he was an assistant scout master in the Riverview area.

Wolfe declined to comment before being led away by sheriff's deputies.

One of the victims, who was in court to read his victim impact statement aloud, said he is happy with the sentence and that two years is a longer sentence than he expected.

The man, whose name is protected by a publication ban imposed on Friday, said the case also shows other molesters that time will not protect them from their "evil deeds."

"There is justice, no matter how long it takes, if you can have the courage to come forward, then justice will be done."

He thanked the other victims for coming forward and asked them to forgive him for opening old wounds.

"I urge other people to come forward who are holding what they might feel is shame … because it's their time now."

Still, he says the victory is bittersweet because he will never be the same. "What was taken from us will never be brought back. What I've lost, what they've lost, will never be regained."

He spoke aboutthe "living hell" of being a distant, uncaring father because he was scared of turning into a monster.

His marriage fell apart and he eventually spent two months in a psychiatric ward before he finally opened up about his experiences.

Another victim, who also can't be named, told the court his assault ripped his innocence away.

He tried to bury it for years, he said, but always worried about his own sons and got involved in their sports and scouting lives to look out for them.

He told his wife about his abuse six years ago and decided to go to the police after the first victim went public.

The man said he hopes that Wolfe's conviction will give all of the victims closure.

He plans to put it all behind him, realizing now that it wasn't his fault, he said.

A third victim impact statement, read by the judge, described a life ruined by alcoholism, while the fourth victim said in his statement he still has suicidal thoughts daily.

Wolfe abused as youth

Judge Irwin Lampert said it is unusual to have a case before the courts when the offences happened so long ago — 50-plus years.

He sentenced Wolfe to two years on each count, to be served concurrently, based on a joint recommendation of the Crown and defence.

Wolfe's name will also be on the national sex offender registry for 10 years.

Lampert said he considered several substantial mitigating factors in imposing the sentence, including the fact that Wolfe suffers from a heart condition and has already experienced the punishment of the case being publicized.

In addition, it was Wolfe's first offence, the incidents occurred when Wolfe was in his early 20s and there are no suggestions the behaviour carried into his later life, and his guilty pleas saved the victims from "the horror" of reliving that time in their lives, Lampert said.

The judge also noted that Wolfe was a victim of sexual assault himself as a young person.

Wolfe's latest victim came forward in January, after Wolfe pleaded guilty to the other charges.

The first victim went to Codiac Regional RCMP in 2011, after he saw an investigative series by CBC News on sexual abuse within Scouts Canada.

The investigation by CBC-TV's the fifth estate revealed that scout leaders abused about 340 children from the 1940s until present.

It also found that Scouts Canada kept a "confidential list" of pedophiles barred from the organization and had also signed confidentiality agreements with child sex abuse victims.

About two months after the documentary aired, Scouts Canada issued a blanket apology to any former scouts who had been sexually abused by the group's volunteer leaders.

The youth organization also announced it had hired an outside company to review its past records and appointed an expert panel to examine whether its current child protection policies are working.