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April 4, 2016

Former Gatineau Priest Jacques Faucher Found Guilty

by CBC News

Former Roman Catholic priest Jacques Faucher, of Gatineau, Que., has been found guilty of sexually molesting three choir boys in the 1970s.

Faucher was retired in 2013 when Ottawa police laid 14 charges of indecent assault and gross indecency against him. The offences were alleged to have involved five victims and occurred between 1969 and 1974.

On Wednesday, in an Ottawa courtroom, Justice Pierre Roger found Faucher guilty on six of the 14 charges involving three of the five victims.

One of the three victims, who cannot be named due to a publication ban, was in court for the verdict.

'I wasn't alone for these 40 years'

"It's mixed feelings today. I feel good because Faucher was found guilty of the accusations [involving] me, but also a little empty because two of the five of us who went forward, he was found not guilty for them," the man said.

He said one of the other two alleged victims was the reason he came forward to police in the first place.

"I wasn't alone for these 40 years. I thought I was. And suddenly, these people that I was friends with at 11, 10 and 12 years old, they were suffering the same things I was ... and I wasn't aware.

"I didn't come forward for 40 years because it was one time, and I figured talking against a priest probably wouldn't get me anywhere. But people have to realize that these things don't happen in isolation."

Justice Roger told the other two alleged victims Wednesday that just because Faucher was found not guilty of the eight other charges involving them, doesn't mean the assaults didn't happen. But from a legal perspective there was reasonable doubt, Roger said.

Faucher served at 4 parishes, taught at schools

Ordained in 1960, Faucher served at four parishes before retiring: Notre-Dame-des-Anges, Saint-Louis-Marie-de-Montfort, Sainte-Jeanne-d'Arc and Christ-Roi.

He taught at the Grand Séminaire as well as several high schools, and served as a French language consultant, according to his profile with the Archdiocese of Ottawa.

The Archdiocese of Ottawa issued a statement Wednesday saying that in light of the conviction, Faucher's suspension from the ministry and prohibition from representing himself as a priest will continue "indefinitely."

"I invite the faithful to pray with me that justice may be done and that healing and reconciliation will come to the victims," Archbishop Terrence Prendergast is quoted as saying.

The archdiocese also repeated part of its statement from 2013, when the charges against Faucher were first laid:

"Our diocese is committed to creating a safe environment in the church for minors and other vulnerable persons. We are also committed to a process of justice and reconciliation for the victims of clergy abuse," Prendergast is quoted as saying.

Published on March 30, 2016

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