* Warning: This story contains material that could be upsetting to some readers
Duncan Goguillot’s name appeared in the pages of The Chilliwack Progress dozens of times from the 1970s to the year 2000.
He was a priest for a decade at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. He coached boys basketball in the ’70s, he served as the Chilliwack Community Arts Council co-ordinator in the 1980s, and for 15 years from 1993 to 2008, Goguillot was MP Chuck Strahl’s campaign manager.
But allegations are being made that the Catholic priest has some extremely dark secrets.
|Father Duncan Goguillot surrounded by boys as the coach of the St. Mary's Independent School's basketball team in a Chilliwack Progress clipping from Dec. 31, 1974. (Chilliwack Progress archives)
The victim, P.S., was in grades 6 and 7 when the alleged sexual assaults took place.
P.S. filed a lawsuit against Goguillot’s estate and the Catholic Indpendent Schools of Vancouver Archdiocese on March 1, 2021. The executors of the estate, Goguillot’s niece and nephew, Kathleen McGuinness and Robert Goguillot claim they had no knowledge of the sexual assaults until the lawsuit began.
In its June 2021 update on clergy sexual abuse, the Vancouver Archdiocese named five defrocked pastors accused of sexual abuse. Goguillot was one of those men listed, his name published as a result of the lawsuit filed by P.S.
“The reporting person was an 11-13-year-old-boy at the time,” according to the Archdiocese report. “Due to this case being before the court, no further comment can be made at this time.”
|Father Duncan George Goguillot's resume with the Catholic church in B.C. as reported in the June 2021 Update on Clergy Sexual Abuse. (Source: The B.C. Catholic)
In P.S.’s civil claim, he alleges that Goguillot intentionally engaged in sexual acts while P.S. was a minor.
“A deep inequality of power existed between the defendant and the plaintiff, based on the defendant Mr. Goguillot’s religious credentials as a priest and the plaintiff, who was a student, which inequality of power the defendant tortiously exploited.”
The claim states the Catholic school failed in hiring Goguillot in the first place, it failed to supervise him, to restrict his responsibilities when they should have known he was at risk of causing harm to children, and failed to terminate him when they ought to have known, among other failures.
P.S. says he has endured pain and suffering; has undergone treatments; lost physical, emotional and mental health; and endured a permanent partial disability, all as a result of the sexual abuse.
The Progress was unable to get in touch with former and long-time Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon MP Chuck Strahl to comment on why he was not aware of Goguillot’s alleged history of sexual abuse against children.
Chuck’s son, current Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl did respond.
“Duncan Goguillot was involved in local federal Conservative politics in various capacities beginning in the early 1990s and ending prior to my election in 2011,” Strahl said in an emailed statement. “At no time during his tenure with the local Conservative organization was I or my predecessor made aware of any complaints or allegations against him.
“It was not until March 2021 – a decade after his involvement in local politics had come to an end and three years after his death – that these serious allegations of abuse were brought before the courts in the form of a lawsuit against the Catholic Church and the estate of the late Duncan Goguillot.
“It is my understanding that this matter is still before the courts, where I trust that justice will be served, as it should be.”
None of the allegations against Goguillot have been proven in court.
READ MORE: Political rivals add ‘nod’ to Strahl tribute
OBITUARY: Duncan George Goguillot
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