Sex victim turned to drugs, prostitution
Now 24, he speaks to pedophile's dangerous offender hearing

`If you are asking if (abuse) had an effect on me, it had a big one'

Jun. 10, 2005. 01:00 AM


He became a prostitute, a drug addict, and a violent, angry man, but yesterday John Kelly wept like a child when he described the impact that serial pedophile Cory Newton had on his life.


Testifying at the Welland, Ont., dangerous offender hearing that could jail Newton for life, Kelly (not his real name) said that between the ages of 9 and 12, the Niagara Falls man paid him money for sex because he knew the boy's alcoholic mother kept no food in the house.


Newton also promised to double the $60 he paid for oral sex or masturbation if Kelly would get his little brother to have sex with him as well, but the younger child declined, Kelly, now 24, said in court yesterday.


"I don't like blaming people for what I've done in my life, and it's been a lot," said Kelly, whose name has been changed for this and previous Toronto Star stories to protect his identity. "For years, I felt dirty. I couldn't even look at a girl. I was afraid she would find out.


"I've been angry, I wanted to hurt people. I've been in every level of prison. I've been a prostitute on the streets of Toronto, because I had a serious drug problem. I've tried to kill myself. I'm not saying trying to kill myself is Cory's fault, but he played a big role in how I turned out."


Sobbing, as he covered face with a Kleenex, Kelly said he used drugs to "numb the pain" that stayed with him after Newton sexually assaulted and later discarded him when he grew into adolescence.


"At one point, I hated me and what I had become. I regretted my whole life, so I guess if you are asking if it had an effect on me, it had a big one," he told Crown Attorney Linda Scaringi DesChatelets.


Newton, 35, spent at least 12 years sexually assaulting a series of young boys in Niagara Falls, under the watch of police, probation officers, the courts, the children's aid society and parents.


He targeted mostly fatherless boys from dysfunctional homes.


He was convicted of sexual assaults against five boys in 1998 and pleaded guilty in 2004 for sexual assaults against six boys he committed while on probation.


The Ontario Attorney General's office is attempting to have him declared a dangerous offender, which could lock him away indefinitely. The Crown has to first prove that Newton caused serious harm to his victims.


`I felt used. I felt dirty for years. It still gives me the shivers just to think about it.'


John Kelly testifies about his victimization by pedophile Cory Newton


Newton's hearing comes at a time when emerging but controversial research on hard-core pedophiles suggests they are nearly impossible to treat. At the same time, federal laws governing sentencing of Canada's worst criminals have come under fire from critics including Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant for being unclear or too lenient.


Superior Court Justice Joseph Henderson is presiding over the hearing, which continues today. The judge will base his decision on three sentencing options: dangerous offender; or the lesser long-term offender, with a jail sentence and up to 10 years of parole; or a regular sentence for Newton's 2004 guilty plea.


Kelly, who was quoted in the Star in a recent series of stories that detailed Newton's crimes, had been waiting nervously to testify since the hearing started on Tuesday.


Staying at a Welland hotel, Kelly put on the same white shirt, dark tie and dress pants for three days until he was called to the stand.


He came face to face with himself, as a grinning 9-year-old, when his childhood school pictures were projected onto a large screen in the courtroom.


From the prisoner's box, Newton stared at the photographs of Kelly as a child. Kelly's face crumpled when he saw the images. He cried when he described how, as a fatherless child whose mother's boyfriend beat him, he treasured any kind of relationship with an adult male. He said he felt lost when Newton's interest waned as he grew into adolescence.


"You put so much trust in somebody and you give them everything you can possibly give. When you get discarded, you know, it hurts. I didn't have anybody to look up to. I thought I could look up to him. Even with all the stuff that was going on, I thought I could still trust him.


"I felt used. I felt dirty for years. It still gives me the shivers just to think about it."


After lunch, Mike Shea, Newton's lawyer, cross-examined Kelly, asking whether his childhood with an alcoholic mother and her violent boyfriend could have contributed to his troubled life as well.


Kelly agreed that his mother's boyfriend caused a great deal of his anger, starting when he was in Grade 4. And he agreed that his mother was a drug user. He said he turned to drugs to block out the emotional pain he felt from Newton's sexual assaults.


"I blame myself for most things. But I turned to drugs because I was trying to deal with the pain, and I turned to prostitution to pay for the drugs.


"If you prostitute yourself when you are 9 years old," he said, "what are you going to be when you grow up?"