John Archibald Connolly

In the eyes of the community John Archibald Connolly was an upstanding citizen who for decades with his wife cared for many vulnerable foster children in his Guysborough County home.

But for at least four of those children, he was a prolific child molester.

The four women lived with their secrets for years.

And now they must live with news that Connolly is allowed to serve the remainder of his three-year sentence in his own home, under the supervision of a parole officer.

After serving one-third of his time, he was granted full parole on Feb. 4.

Connolly, a first-time offender in his mid-80s, was sentenced last June on charges of sexual intercourse with a girl under age 14, sexual intercourse with another girl under age 16 and three counts of indecent assault against a female.

“Given your age, medical difficulties, mobility issues and physical needs, day parole facilities were not amenable to providing you with residency,” the Parole Board of Canada wrote in a Feb. 5 decision.

Connolly, of Guysborough Intervale, was found guilty of the charges at trial in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in February 2013.

Connolly had initially planned to appeal his sentence and convictions. However, he has since abandoned his appeal and admitted to some of the crimes.

“Your version of the offences differs significantly from the official version and you denied all offences, except for touching one of the victim’s breasts, suggesting the other victims made up their stories for financial gain from the government,” the board wrote.

“File reports indicate that for years, and repeatedly, you sexually abused foster children taken into your home for care, yet continue to deny that abuse.”

Prison assessments showed Connolly’s risk to reoffend is in the low range. However, his case management team found he lacks insight and understanding into the harm caused to his victims.

“There is no indication that you have reoffended in the past 40 years, your risk for reoffending is low, community support is positive and local police authorities offered no specific opposition or opinion to the proposed release plan,” the decision said.

The first girl to be molested was in his home from 1956 to 1965. She was repeatedly raped until she was old enough to better fend for herself, court heard.

The next two victims were in the residence from the late 1960s until the mid-1970s. The fourth victim arrived at the home as a toddler and was there until 1980.

Connolly cannot have any contact with his victims or their families. He was also ordered not to be in the presence of any girls under the age of 18 unless accompanied by a responsible adult who knows his criminal history and has been pre-approved by his parole supervisor.

Connelly’s sentence ends June 26, 2016.

Source :

Chronicle Herald

 February 7, 2014 – 4:26pm 
 February 7, 2014 – 6:09pm

An 84-year-old Nova Scotia man is heading to prison for sexually assaulting four of his foster children over several decades.

John Archibald Connolly was sentenced to three years on June 27 in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.

The court heard that Connolly and his wife, Bessie Connolly, took in many foster children over the years. Four of them said they were molested.

The first victim testified that she was abused as a child from 1956 to 1965. Two victims lived in the home from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s. The last girl joined the home as a toddler and lived there until 1980.

The first victim was routinely raped, while three others endured years of what the judge termed “degrading sexual assaults.”

Prosecution and defence were far apart on their sentencing recommendations.

The defence proposed 18 months of house arrest, and the Crown asked for a penitentiary sentence of four to six years.

Justice Gerald Moir said he considered Connolly’s advanced age when sentencing the man.

Connolly suffers from a variety of illnesses, according to court documents, including having undergone open heart surgery, and a colostomy for bowel cancer. He also has a pacemaker and suffers from small strokes.

“At 84, Mr. Connolly sets a record in the case law to which I have been referred,” he said.

Moir also had to consider the terrible impact on Connolly’s victims, and what he called the “context of the general society.”

“Foster children have much to overcome, without being molested. To deliberately harm a foster child violates the trust obligation a foster parent owes to the child and to society, who places these children in the foster parent’s control,” said Moir.

“I have no choice but to keep in mind the next foster parent who is tempted to abuse their foster child. Such a foster parent has to know that, sooner or later, they will be called to account.”

Connolly will be registered as a sex offender and must provide a DNA sample to the national registry.