A reader passed along information that Pastor Ronald D. Burning from Canada was convicted on 13 of 14 counts of various sex crimes on both male and female victims.
According to The Brantford Expositor.ca
A 59-year-old Six Nations pastor sat with his head in his hands after guilty verdicts were read out on 13 of 14 charges Friday afternoon in Brantford Superior Court.
Ronald D. Burning was taken into custody after the verdicts were read, bringing to a conclusion a two-week trial where the six-man, six-woman jury heard from two men and five women in relation to an original 19 charges. The witnesses cannot be identified due to a court-ordered publication ban.
Jurors had deliberated over 14 of the original 19 charges starting Thursday at 10 a.m. At 8 p.m. Thursday they were sequestered for the night and resumed deliberations at 10 a.m. Friday. They rendered their verdicts shortly before 3:30 p.m. Friday.
Burning, pastor of Johnsfield Baptist Church, was found guilty on three counts of sexual assault, four charges of indecent assault, sexual intercourse with someone under the age of 14, forcible confinement, indecent assault, voyeurism, criminal harassment, indecent assault and gross indecency. These charges, some committed on men and some on women, related to incidents that took place between 1971 and 2009.
He was found not guilty on a single charge – sexual assault on a male.
Three of the original charges were stayed by Justice Kim Carpenter-Gunn, who directed acquittal on two other charges because no evidence was presented.
During their deliberations, jurors returned to the court mid-morning Friday to ask a question of clarification. Jurors wanted to know if they could find guilt on a charge where there was only the testimony of one witness and no other corroborating evidence from exhibits presented during the trial or other witness testimony.
The judge said that jurors could use any evidence or testimony to help them assess the context of the witness testimony in question and use that to determine how much weight to give to what that person told the court.
The judge revoked Burning’s bail following his conviction, requiring that he stay in custody until his sentencing hearing.
Defence lawyer Howard Staats had asked his client remain on bail, given he has lived under those conditions for almost two years and had caused no problems.
Assistant Crown attorney Patricia Vadacchino argued for custody.
She also reviewed for the judge how two of the guilty verdicts carry minimum life sentences, three carry minimum five-year sentences and one carries a minimum 10-year sentence.
“Now that we’ve had the jury come back … finding the accused guilty on 13 of 14 charges and the defendant is looking at significant jail time, I don’t see the wisdom of releasing the accused,” Carpenter-Gunn said.
To allow time for various pre-sentencing reports to be completed and accommodate for the schedules of the judge and Crown, the sentencing hearing has been scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sept. 28.
Burning was arrested in December 2009 while trying to cross into the United States at the Sarnia border crossing.
Did the leadership of Old Time Baptist Church, Hamburg, NY make any announcements two years ago when Ron Burning was arrested or or even now after Ron Burning’s conviction this information was known, to the congregation as a whole and to the groups of girls that were taken up there for a several weeks each year to sing at meetings? Did the church members know that their financial support was going to pay for defense of a serial child sexual predator?
Even more importantly!
Were these people even TOLD that Ron Burning had any allegations against him? Are members and former members of Old Time Baptist Church, Hamburg, NY members told to ask their daughters if they were ever touched, approached in an uncomfortable manner, or any other actions that would point to whether there are any other victims from this church? DO ADULTS AND CHILDREN NOW KNOW WHAT TO DO?