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Former priest David Norton sentenced to 9 years for sexually abusing boys

Today marked the end of the trial of former Anglican priest David Norton, who sexually abused four boys from Chippewas of the Thames First Nation.

The Crown and defence both asked the judge for a nine-year prison sentence

Former priest and professor David Norton, 72, leaves court on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, after pleading guilty to sexually touching a child under 14 in the early 1990s. (Kate Dubinski/CBC News)

A judge has sentenced former Anglican priest David Norton to nine years in prison for sexually abusing four boys from Chippewas of the Thames First Nation. 

Norton, 72, was found guilty of three counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual assault in November. He abused the four boys in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Norton is currently serving a four-year prison term for sexual interference on a fifth boy, from outside of Chippewas of the Thames First nation. Today's sentence will be served consecutively. 

Before handing down the sentence, Justice Lynda Templeton told the court that Norton purported to be a man of God but that his conduct ran counter to the meaning and message of Christianity.

The judge ruled Norton will be placed on the sex offender registry, and will be prohibited from being anywhere around children, including parks and public pools.

He is also banned from the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation and will never be allowed to own a weapon. 

What Norton's victims said

On Monday, the court heard emotional victim impact statements from the four victims, along with statements from one of the victim's daughters and a statement from the Chippewas community.

"My spirit was shattered," shared one of the victims.

The victims recounted lives of trauma, substance abuse, suicide attempts and struggles to have meaningful relationships with their children, family and friends. They spoke of decades of struggle stemming from the abuse they suffered at the hands of Norton.

"Honestly, I just couldn't wait to look him in the eye," one of the victims told CBC News. "I wanted to see his reactions, I wanted to see if he felt any kind of guilt at all and I wanted to stop him from being able to hurt any other kids."

A publication ban is in place to protect the identity of the victims.

"It was unbearable," said Chippewas of the Thames Chief Myeengun Henry about hearing the victims' impact statements.

"[The] statements will linger in my life forever and I just give hope that these victims find a way in life, that they can find peace."

Last fall, the four men testified about being sexually abused by Norton as prepubescent boys.

Sleepovers

Norton showed the boys attention and affection, taking them to movies and parks, letting them drink sugary drinks and play video games in his London apartment.

During sleepovers, the victims told the court they were fondled and woke up with a sticky substance on their body that they later realized was semen.

Norton denied the abuse but was found guilty by Justice Lynda Templeton who said Norton's evidence "simply did not ring true."

Norton was a well-respected King's University professor when he was first charged with sexual assault in 2015.

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