Saskatchewan settles with 2 wrongly accused in satanic rites case

Saskatchewan’s justice minister has apologized to two former policemen accused in the Martensville sexual abuse case, a bizarre miscarriage of justice in which nine people faced dozens of charges involving children.

A settlement announced on Tuesday also includes compensation of $285,000 for James Elstad and $175,000 for Edward Revesz.

“I think the [plaintiffs], quite rightly being innocent, wanted to see, and expected and deserved some expression both of regret this had happened and admission they were put through an ordeal … through no fault of their own,” Justice Minister Frank Quennell said.

After one of the most sensational criminal prosecutions in Saskatchewan history, the courts upheld only one charge against one person in the case, which was believed by investigators to be part of a satanic ritual.

Documents filed in subsequent lawsuits showed there were some questions about the investigation and children’s testimony even before the charges were laid in 1992.

Elstad and Revesz are among six people who sued the province, the Saskatoon police department and the now-disbanded Martensville police department.

The province has agreed to pay more than $1.3 million to settle all the lawsuits.

Quennell said he had no plans to call an inquiry into the case.

• Background: The Fifth Estate: Hell to Pay

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
CBC News, Canada
Mar. 7, 2006

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This post was last updated: Monday, November 30, -0001 at 12:00 AM, Central European Time (CET)