Against Satanic Panics > Older cases > Martensville
Martensville, Saskatchewan (1992)
by Diane Vera
Copyright © 2006 by Diane Vera. All rights reserved.
In 1991 in Martensville, Saskatchewan, Canada, a little girl came down with an especially bad case of diaper rash. In response to her mother's questions, the little girl said something about having been poked on the behind by some stranger with a "pink rope." The girl's mother (not identified in any of the news stories I've seen) complained to the police that her daughter had been sexually abused by Travis Sterling, son of the couple who ran the baby-sitting service where the girl had spent many a day.
Lots and lots of children were then asked lots and lots of leading questions by the police. Soon the case blossomed into a full-fledged MVMO SRA case.
In 1992, a total of nine people were charged, including Travis Sterling, his parents Linda and Ron Sterling, an unidentified underage girl, and a bunch of local police officers.
At the trials, Linda and Ron Sterling were found innocent. Travis Sterling and the underage girl were found guilty. (The girl's conviction was later overturned on appeal.) Charges against most of the police officers were stayed.
Many have criticized the methods used in questioning the children. No other evidence was found besides the children's testimony.
- Hell to Pay, CBC, Canada, February 12, 2003, including timeline.
- The "Martensville Nightmare" Ritual Abuse Case on the website of the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
- The Martensville Nightmare CD-ROM
- McMartin North: The Day Care Centre / Child Abuse Controversy in Martensville Saskatchewan by David Lees (no date given; apparently written in the 1990's)
- The “cult” that wasn’t, by Rick Ross, February 14, 2003
Below are news stories about subsequent lawsuits by some of the defendants:
- Popowich has name cleared after 10 years, CBC Seskatchewan (Canada), June 19, 2002
- Satanic panic attack, The Globe and Mail (Canada), Aug. 1, 2002
- Martensville accused closer to malicious prosecution trial, by Betty Ann Adam, The StarPhoenix, Canada, Feb. 4, 2004
- Saskatchewan settles Martensville sex case by Tim Cook, Canadian Press, USA, Nov. 15, 2004
- Settlement reached in Martensville sex-abuse case, CBC News, Canada, Thu, 18 Nov 2004
- Saskatchewan settles with 2 wrongly accused in satanic rites case - CBC News, Canada, Tue, 07 Mar 2006 (another copy here)
- Satanic Panic Payout in Canada, in the blog Bartholomew's notes on religion, 10 March 2006
Martensville is near the city of Saskatoon, where there was another alleged MVMO SRA case that began shortly before the Martensville case. See my page about the Saskatoon case.