Fox News Flash top headlines for March 30
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A Canadian judge has acquitted a now-retired 93-year-old priest of assault after a student at one of Canada’s notorious residential schools accused him of forcing himself on her more than 50 years ago.
Victoria McIntosh testified she was assaulted by Arthur Masse in a bathroom of the Fort Alexander Residential School north of Winnipeg, Manitoba sometime between 1968 and 1970.
McIntosh and Masse were the only witnesses who testified in the two-day judge-alone trial earlier this month.
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Retired priest Arthur Masse, 93, leaves the Law Courts in Winnipeg on March 30, 2023, after a judge acquitted him of forcing himself on a residential school student more than 50 years ago. (David Lipnowski /The Canadian Press via AP)
Manitoba Court of King’s Bench Justice Candace Grammond said in her decision Thursday that she believed McIntosh was assaulted, but couldn’t determine beyond a reasonable doubt that it was Masse who did it.
McIntosh, who had about a dozen supporters with her in court, clutched a sweater a family member made for her and stared at the floor as Grammond read her analysis.
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Masse stared straight ahead while the decision was being read.
More than 150,000 native children were forced to attend state-funded Christian schools from the 19th century until the 1970s in an effort to isolate them from the influence of their homes and culture, Christianize them and assimilate them into mainstream society.
The government has admitted that physical and sexual abuse was rampant.