Welcome to AMMSA.COM, the news archive website for our family of Indigenous news publications.

77-year old pedophile sentenced to 11 years


Susan Lazaruk, Windspeaker Correspondent, Port Alberni B.C.







Page 3

In a sexual abuse case the judge called the worst he'd seen in his 45

years on the bench, 77 year-old Arthur Plint was jailed for 11 years for

assaulting boys at a former residential school on Vancouver Island.

The trial brought to light harrowing tales of abuse:

How Plint, a supervisor from 1947-1968 at the federal Alberni Indian

Residential School run by the United Church, bribed children with

chocolate bars to perform oral sex on him and severely beat others late

at night, often when he was drunk.

How Plint made a boy perform oral sex on him before handing over a

letter from his mother and how the boy spent the rest of the night

crying in his bed.

How one young boy fled, only to have Plint track him down and beat him

naked in front of his classmates to prevent others from trying the same


The stopped and frail Plint pleaded guilty to the charges that involved

18 victims, aged six to 13, but showed no remorse.

At one point outside the courtroom in Port Alberni, a small lumber town

on the western edge of Vancouver Island, he angrily shook the cane he

used to support himself.

During sentencing in front of the courtroom packed with victims, their

families and supporters, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Douglas Hogarth

called Plint a "sexual terrorist".

He noted how victims who tired to complain were ignored and even


"They were prisoners in the residential school and he knew it."

The judge lambasted the federal schools, where Native children were

sent to be educated in English.

"The Indian residential school system was nothing more than

institutionalized pedophilia," he said. "Generations of children were

wrenched from their families and were brought to be ashamed to be


The charges against Plint prompted the province to investigate

widespread allegations of abuse at the 14 schools in a two-year RCMP


The charges arose from a study started in 1992 by the Nuu-chah-nulth

Tribal Council on Vancouver Island. The council's report found 130

people who had suffered some form of abuse at the three residential

schools in the area.

The inquiry is expected to hear more of the same testimony aired by

Plint's victims, many of whom asked that the publication ban on their

names be lifted. The survivors were frank and open about the abuse and

how they as adults abused alcohol and their loved ones.

One of the most eloquent was Native artist Art Thompson, 46, who last

year worked on the Victoria Commonwealth Games athletes' medals.

Wearing a ceremonial cape, cedar headdress and painted face, Thompson

told Plint in court: "I want you to look at all these human beings in

here. I want you to understand their anger. I want you to understand

their pain."

Outside court, Thompson said he can't feel sorry for the aged Plint.

"He never showed us any mercy when we were children: that's the bottom


Melvin Good, whose complaints two years ago launched the criminal

investigation, said the abuse began when he was 13 , when he went to

Plint's office after hurting himself and Plint began hugging, then

fondling him.

The abuse continued for more than two years and Good was moved into

Plint's bedroom for most of a summer until the principal, who lived at

the school, moved him out.

Good, now 45, beat his wife and children for years before going to

counseling and facing the sexual abuse.

"The damage that has been done is unbelievable," he said. "I'm on the

healing side, but I have a long way to go."

Many of the victims have committed suicide or died of alcohol abuse.

Hogarth said he took into account the victim-impact statements that

detailed how many boys turned into abusive adults. The court heard how

many beat their wives and physically and verbally abused their

children. Two admitted to sexually abusing kids.

"I beat my wife and sent her to hospital for three months .... I hated


"I thought I was a gay person because I didn't stop him...something was

wrong with me... that I brought it on myelf....I felt angry and had low


"You hurt my people," he said. "I have family up and down the coast

that you scarred. You're a constant reminder of cultural abuse. You

tore communities apart with your acts.

"Look at these people. They are all around, the survivors."

Said Good: "I'm glad it's over now. It's a new life today."