|CORNWALL, Ont. — For the second day in a
row, a former city police officer refused to testify at an
inquiry probing the institutional response to allegations of
systemic sexual abuse in the Cornwall area.
“Are you prepared to answer my questions?” Peter
Engelmann, lead commission counsel, asked Perry Dunlop on
Tuesday. “No,” said Dunlop. “I’m not.”
At one point, Dunlop was asked if he intended to say
anything and he reached towards a pocket inside his suit
jacket and began to pull out a small piece of paper from
which he’d read Monday while on the stand.
At that time, Dunlop said he had no faith in the inquiry,
its mandate or the Ontario criminal justice system and had
nothing further to say.
“Do you have anything to say other than what you said
yesterday?” asked inquiry Commissioner Normand Glaude.
“I’ll stick with what I said yesterday,” Dunlop said.
Dunlop was then asked if he wanted some independent legal
Engelmann then told Dunlop the inquiry could arrange to
have the costs of legal counsel covered by the Attorney
General, an offer which the former cop flatly refused.
“I don’t want a lawyer,” he said.
Engelmann said while he was disappointed to realize
Dunlop had not changed his mind about testifying before the
inquiry, he was prepared to put questions to Dunlop’s wife,
Helen Dunlop suggested she was prepared to answer
questions in a limited fashion.
“(I will) as long as I don’t feel intimidated or
bullied,” she said. “The moment I feel intimidated, bullied
or harassed, I will stop speaking.”
She told the inquiry of the toll the past 14 years have
taken on herself, her husband and their three daughters,
beginning with the day she first heard the charges levelled
against a man she once trusted to lead her family in their
In September 1993, Perry handed her a piece of paper
which contained allegations of sexual abuse against a city
“He said, `I found something out today,”’ Helen said,
“`and our lives are never going to be the same.”’
The document included allegations made by David Silmser
against Rev. Charles MacDonald, a Catholic priest.
“It sickened me,” said Helen. “It scared me.”
“(MacDonald) was at my ... family parish and I had 40 to
50 nieces and nephews there at the church, and their
friends,” she said. “There were boys there going into the
altar boy program.”
MacDonald, who has adamantly denied all allegations
against him, was charged in 1996 with a number of sexual
assault crimes, but those charges were stayed in 2002 when a
judge determined it had taken too long to bring the matter
She said she and her husband spent the next seven years
living through dozens of victims disclosing allegations of
abuse to them, Perry facing charges of misconduct under the
Police Services Act of which he was ultimately exonerated
and health issues which nearly destroyed their family.
Some of his fellow officers told him that, for his own
good, he should stop looking into how the force had handled
the allegations against MacDonald, she testified.
“Another officer approached him in the change room and
said, `If I were you, I would take my revolver and blow my
head off,”’ she recalled.
The inquiry continues.
“I lost my first house through legal advice,” said