Steven Haroldson and Curtis Loepke: You two know what really happened. Come forward and tell the truth about your perjured testimony at the Sterling trials. You know that you told lies and sent an innocent young woman to jail.
September, 1993: During the trial of Ron, Linda and Travis Sterling, Richard and Kari Klassen picketed Saskatoon Queen's Bench Court house on their own case. They had also been falsely charged with sexual crimes against children. The day this photo (right) was taken Judge Wimmer ordered their arrest for possible contempt charges. Richard and Kari appeared a few days later, and no contempt charges were laid.
Initially accused were: John Popowich, Ed Revez, Darrin Sabourin, Daryl Ford, Jim Elstad, Travis Sterling, Ron Sterling and Linda Sterling. T. S. was accused after she came home from Alberta and became argumentative with the cops and social workers who were harrassing her parents.
The only conviction that stuck was on Travis Sterling (left). Travis was convicted because his lawyer did not answer to an important allegation of the crown. Now that the wrongfully accused are beginning to win some settlement, Travis is being named once more as the single conviction. Only those of us who were there can state with certainty he was wrongfully convicted. There was no appeal and Travis did his time without complaint. Saskatchewan should hang its head in shame.
The press ran scared from it. Judge Macpherson ordered certain documents sealed and the StarPhoenix took this as an excuse to stop reporting period.
The publication ban -- a "486" order has served no public good.
The Sterlings are suing the Justice Department for more than ten million dollars. injusticebusters hope they win. (settlement 2004 fallout)
In 1997, under public pressure, Richard Quinney sent documents from this case (but not from the Foster Parent case) to Alberta to be reviewed. As with David Milgaard, the file came back with a nice coat of whitewash -- no wrongdoing on the part of any Saskatchewan officials. In announcing the whitewash, Quinney led the public to believe that all the Satanic abuse investigations had been cleared.
No official with any integrity has ever taken a good look at the Foster Parent case. We are still pushing for a full, independent, public inquiry conducted by someone from outside Saskatchewan (not Alberta.)
Many people still confuse the Martensville case, which received wide publicity across Canada, with the Foster Parent Scandal which happened earlier.
The confusion is understandable because the media stopped reporting seriously on the Foster Parent Scandal once the Sterlings were charged. One of the reasons was a court-ordered publication ban on any information which might identify the Ross children, the Crown's star witnesses in the case against the foster parents. The order was presumably to protect the children but the truth is that they didn't give a shit about the children.
What they did care about was the protecting of the lies the children told, and the facts of how adults in authority, notably Brian Dueck, had encouraged the children to lie. Now the Fifth Estate has exposed that lie, but many people still think this is a continuation of the Martensville story. It is not. There are two stories. And now there are two huge lawsuits before the courts. The justice system is in disgrace but it is still trying to stare us all down with its lies.
Before the police entered their home on a Saturday morning while they were out shopping for groceries, the Sterlings were an ordinary Canadian family. Suddenly rolls of film which they had not yet got around to developing, a videotape of their daughter's graduation, personal items removed from a nightstand beside their bed, and a length of weighted material used to make the pants on a workplace uniform hang straight became "evidence" that this ordinary family was part of a Satanic cult who used children in their incredible activities at a "place" in the country. Saskatoon citizens watched the replay of Ron and Linda, handcuffed and being taken away in a paddy wagon.
The media played it up. "Where there's smoke, there's fire," many proclaimed as the Crown's case evaporated. There was no smoke. There was no fire. There was police mischief. RCMP Constable Claudia Bryden (right) was looking for a career in a male bastion.
Spring, 2002: The legacy of the madness generated during this trial still remains to be cleared. Saskatchewan has suffered from cutbacks in education and health, and, of course the economic privations caused by the drought. A badly educated population with no responsible media to lead the way continues to believe, in large part, that we were narrowly saved from a Satanic take-over in 1993.
Here are a few of the dozens of facts the media failed to report:
The "evidence" which was seized from the Sterling home had nothing to do with the charges and everything to do with a criminal invasion of their private lives.
Some of this material is taken from a handbill written by Marjaleena Repo who raised money for the Sterlings' defense.
See injusticebusters' [Sheila Steele's] review of Frann Harris's book on Marketing Martensville
Everyone should know: there was no forensic evidence, no medical evidence and no corroboration to show that anything at all happened to these children. What is left is the children's contradictory testimony, extracted from them by determined adults, and so called expert testimony that these children's behavior indicates that they had been sexually abused.
The defense lawyer who was assigned to Travis's case failed to enter important evidence which would have cleared him.
injusticebusters are watching the Manitoba inquiry into the Thomas Sophonow wrongful conviction which so far seems to be a model of how to properly address wrongful smearing of citizens.