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Retired priest gets 6 months house arrest after pleading guilty to sex charges

A retired Catholic priest has been sentenced to six months of house arrest after pleading guilty to sex crimes dating back more than 50 years.

Father William Hodgson Marshall, 90, pleaded guilty Monday in a Windsor, Ont., courtroom to indecent assault involving two teenage boys in Saskatchewan in the 1950s and 60s.

Marshall is currently on parole after pleading guilty in 2011 to 17 counts of sexually abusing children while teaching at schools in Windsor, Toronto and Sudbury, Ont.

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Defence lawyer Andrew Bradie said the sentence was fair and that his client was glad to have the matter dealt with.

After the term of house arrest, Marshall will be on probation for 30 months.

The defence had asked for a conditional sentence while the Crown wanted a sentence of nine to 12 months.

"He's been through a lot and I know there will be people who said he's put other people through a lot and there is no denying that," Bradie said Monday after the sentencing.

"But in the last few years with the charges from Sudbury and Toronto and Windsor and Saskatoon, going to the penitentiary, it's taking its toll on him."

About 70 people protested outside the courthouse where Marshall appeared.

Protester Catherine Lewis said the church needs to be accountable.

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"The church has to stop covering this up," Lewis said. "We have to get this out loud and clear ... there are too many lives (that) have been ruined," she said.

"These perpetrators have to pay for what they have done."

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