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Foster Boy Assaulted
February 12, 2015 permalink
Michael McLellan has been sentenced to ten years for sexually assaulting an eleven-year-old foster boy in Hamilton Ontario. The victim's family name remains confidential.
Hamilton man gets 10 years for sexual assault
A Hamilton father says he still has a lot of unanswered questions after a man was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting his 11-year-old son.
The father — whose name The Spectator can't publish by law to protect the boy's identity — said the boy is doing better about eight months after the incident, but "had a lot of anger" and still won't talk about what happened.
The father said the boy was relieved to hear that Michael McLellan, 49, pleaded guilty to sexual assault, breach of probation and breach of a court order in a Hamilton courtroom Thursday. Charges including sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching were withdrawn.
The plea spared the boy from having to testify.
"We were preparing him (for court)," the father told The Spectator Friday. "He didn't want to do it. He broke down."
McLellan was on probation at the time, after being convicted on similar charges. He befriended the boy and a friend at Beasley Park on the morning of June 18, 2014, Hamilton police said. He invited the boys — 11 and 15 years old at the time — back to his apartment where the younger boy was sexually assaulted.
The father said he first learned of the assault on Facebook.
"Sadly enough, we read about it on Facebook, that there was an assault at Beasley Park," he recalled. "I remember thinking 'Thank God it's not my kid.'"
Two hours later, the phone rang to let the father know his son was at the police station and had been assaulted.
The father's biggest concern is how a convicted offender was out in a downtown park on a summer morning. He said no one has answered that question. Police have previously declined to say if McLellan was registered as a sexual offender.
"There was no response. Never," the father said. "This guy (McLellan) is a mystery."
"There's tons I'd like to ask," he added. "I know I won't get any answers."
The father said he was also shocked because his son was in the care of the Children's Aid Society at a home in Brampton at the time. Even though the boys had no money, the father believes they talked a GO bus driver into letting them ride from Brampton to Hamilton for free that morning.
The two boys left the foster home at 4 a.m., the dad said.
"The couple in the home told us legally they can't put a hand on them," the dad said. "All they can do is call police and with police response time, they were already gone."
Mary Ballantyne, executive director of the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies, said she wasn't familiar with the case but said such incidents can be a tough call for foster parents. Younger children can be prevented from leaving she said and police can be called when older children are involved.
"The foster parent's responsibility is to do what any parent would do," she said.
After pleading guilty Thursday, McLellan was sentenced to nine more years in custody for the sexual assault and one more year for breaching probation and a court order.
Detective John Pauls, of the Hamilton Police Child Abuse Branch, said the case can serve as a reminder for parents.
"We just want to remind parents to teach kids to be careful," Pauls said. "He befriended these boys in the park."
Source: Hamiltion Spectator