Sentencing pending in Saskatoon for Cree healer who sexually assaulted 12 women
Warning: This story contains disturbing details.
Cecil Wolfe called it « doctoring ».
The 60-year-old Cree medicine man met various women over nine years in homes and hotel rooms in Muskeg Lake, Onion Lake and Saskatoon. Women were drawn to him as a trusted healer and sought him out to help them with illnesses ranging from depression to cancer.
However, a Saskatoon provincial court judge heard Wednesday that, regardless of the medical issue, those visits usually ended with Wolfe caressing their breasts and digitally penetrating their vaginas.
The pattern of assaults is detailed in an agreed statement of facts read at Wolfe’s sentencing hearing. He pleaded guilty to 12 counts of sexual assault earlier this year.
Wolfe ordered women to come in skirts and, in some cases, to remove their bras beforehand. He stroked their arms, legs and torsos, asking them about drug use and their sexual history. The digital penetration lasted between one and four minutes, according to the court.
« There’s something down there and I have to pull it out, » one victim said before entering her.
After the assaults, Wolfe produced trinkets, snakeskins, cat’s claws and ribbons, all « bad medicine » which he claimed to have extracted from their genitals.
Prosecutor Lana Morelli said the women initially tolerated the touching « because he was a healer and had great power ».
She plans to call an elder at the hearing to explain how Wolfe’s actions are neither traditional nor acceptable.
The sentencing hearing was scheduled to last one day. However, after Morelli read the lengthy agreed statement of facts in court, Wolfe’s attorney, Loretta Pete-Lambert, said she wasn’t sure he fully understood what he had heard. It was unclear how well Wolfe understood English.
Morelli noted that Wolfe signed the agreed statement of facts, indicating that he understood it.
To be on the safe side, Judge Sanjeev Anand had the full statement of facts read a second time in Cree. This delayed the hearing enough that a second day is now required.
Wolfe returns to court on December 9.
Support is available for anyone who has been sexually assaulted. You can access crisis lines and local support services through this Government of Canada website or the Canadian Association for the Elimination of Violence Database. If your situation is urgent, please contact the emergency services in your area.