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Page history last edited by abogado 4 years, 10 months ago


John Popowich will never forget the day he was charged with child abuse.

John Popowich was born in Yorkton, Sask in 1946 and joined the Saskatoon Police Service in 1973. He worked as a beat officer, in the traffic section and undercover in the drug squad through his career. He also worked as a firearms instructor. He held the rank of corporal when he was charged during the Martensville investigation. 

He says he will never forget the day that he was named as a child abuser. "Once you're fingered as a sexual pervert or a predator of any kind, anything to do with kids and sexual assaults, you're dust. Doesn't matter what happens."

He maintained his innocence throughout, saying he had never been to the community more than twice in his entire life. But the stigma was so severe he couldn't even hold children in his own home. "You'd sit there and watch TV in the afternoon or night and you'd turn the venetians right down so no one could see in. I was so scared of people watching or listening that the girls weren't even allowed to sit on my knee to watch TV like we normally did."

The charges against Popowich were stayed when the children who testified couldn't pick him out of the courtroom. The judge ruled that it was a case of mistaken identity.

Although he was found innocent, Popowich ended up in the hospital with a breakdown and never returned to police work. He lost an eye when attacked in a restaurant after his charges were stayed. He lives in Saskatoon.

Last summer the Saskatchewan government awarded him 1.3 million dollars for malicious prosecution in the Martensville case. Read a letter from Justice Minister Chris Axworthy.

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CBC: the fifth estate - Hell to Pay
Broadcast February 12, 2003 on CBC News: the fifth estate

The Martensville "Satanic Sex Scanda
l" - A Police Task Force Uncovers the Truth 
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