PEI former nun to be sentenced for assault
ReligionNewsBlog.com • Thursday November 7, 2002
CTV (Canada), Nov. 7, 2002
A former nun convicted of beating up children at her Prince Edward Island commune will be sentenced today.
Poulin said she disciplined children as directed by god and the punishment was always given with love and compassion. The children told the court Poulin frequently assaulted them and seemed crazy with rage.
The judge in the case said Poulin’s spankings went beyond discipline to beating the children. He said the force was excessive, frequent and often in no way for the correction of children’s misbehaviour.
The prosecutor told reporters he was pleased, saying the case proves that the courts in Canada will not tolerate criminal abuse against children.
During her two-week trial, Poulin testified that the Bible demands that children be physically disciplined. She told the court that the Bible says that adults should not spare the rod when raising children, saying it drives foolishness out of kids.
She was teaching the children to obey, trying to deliver them from Hell, she said.
Poulin has said she did nothing wrong, no matter what the laws of man decided. She said “scriptures tell us it’s better to obey God than man… Once you obey God, you go free regardless of what others do to you.”
Poulin also told the court she would not change her ways if another child came into her care.
Children from Poulin’s religious commune who testified said the beatings left them bruised and frightened. The children sometimes endured as many as 39 strikes a time, witnesses have told the court.
All of the children, who were aged 8 to 12 at the time of the assaults, have either left or were taken from the commune.
One boy told the court that Poulin hit the children with all her strength. Poulin would hold them by the neck over a chair and their faces would turn blue and sometimes they would even pass out, another said. Others testified that the children were beaten almost every day for violations such as inappropriate laughing, or playing with other children.
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