A man convicted of sex crimes 35 years ago is back in the race for Saskatoon’s catholic school board.
Denis Robert Hall had withdrawn from the election last week after reports surfaced of his criminal past.
Hall said in a statement Monday that his family had received an outpouring of support from the community. That, combined with the fact his name would still be on the ballot, led him to the decision to officially re-enter the race.
“Should I be elected, I would join the other trustees and do my very best to make sure that every single student has the best education available,” he said in the statement.
The Roman Catholic Dioceses of Saskatoon has yet to respond to requests for comment on the matter.
Hall was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 1981 for having sex with girls aged 14 to 16. At least one of the girls was a member of a community basketball team sponsored by Holy Rosary Cathedral in Regina.
“I’m very sorry,” he said in an interview with 650 CKOM. “I can’t excuse what I did, but I did it. I don’t know what I was thinking.”
Hall’s son Robert said his father’s teaching license was restored in 1984, and he resumed teaching throughout Saskatchewan until the early 2000s.
“He always told me he needed correcting, and he got corrected,” Robert Hall said, adding his father hasn’t re-offended.
Denis Hall was pardoned of his crimes in 1994.
He was also encouraged to re-enter the race after receiving an official apology from CBC Saskatchewan for referring to him as a “pedophile” in their initial stories.
Hall and his family requested the correction, saying it was an “erroneous” representation of what his crimes were.
Pedophilia is clinically defined as a sexual attraction to pre-pubescent children, according to Psychology Today.