Beckett Personal Injury Office In Downtown London

December 5, 2014

Ottawa Priest Charged

by Meghan Hurley, The Ottawa Citizen

An Ottawa priest who counselled students after the fatal explosion at Mother Teresa High School that killed 15-year-old Eric Leighton has been charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy.

Stephen Amesse, 56, was charged Thursday by Ottawa police with two counts each of sexual assault and sexual interference on a boy under the age of 16.

"These are painful moments in the life of a faith community," the Archdiocese of Ottawa said in a statement. "May the parishioners know the spiritual support of our entire Catholic community."

Police said the investigation was launched in February after the incident was reported to them. The victim was 14 at the time of the offence in 2008, police said.

The Archdiocese of Ottawa said in a statement issued Thursday that Amesse was suspended from his position as the pastor at St. Patrick's Parish when the charges were laid.

Amesse had previously served at Stittsville's Holy Spirit Catholic Church. In response to a national poll about sex abuse cases, Amesse told the Citizen in 2002 that his parish had been growing despite the unhappiness of Catholics with how the church handled the abuse.

Amesse told the Citizen that many Catholics advocate allowing priests to marry and that they make what he thought was a misleading connection between the vow of celibacy and sex abuse.

"I think it's a general concern that people might have that their priests are lonely," Amesse said. "You can be lonely and have a family."

Amesse appeared in court on Thursday and was released on $5,000 bail with the condition that he stay away from children.

Detectives are concerned there may be other potential victims and ask anyone with information to call 613-236-1222, ext. 5944.

With files from Gary Dimmock

mhurley@ottawacitizen.com

Published on December 4, 2014

Beckett Personal Injury Office In Downtown London

October 8, 2021

What You Need To Know About Suing Your Insurance Company

A personal injury lawyer is your best support if you choose to sue your insurance company. Learn why and what the process looks like in our latest blog.

Read More
Beckett Personal Injury Office In Downtown London

September 24, 2021

A Guide to Income Replacement When You’re Injured

The financial burden of being unable to work due to an injury can be devastating. Our latest blog breaks down the types of claims that can help support you financially when you are not able to work.

Read More
Beckett Personal Injury Office In Downtown London

September 23, 2021

Clarity on Consent – Sexual Violence on Campus

The recent reports of sexual violence at Western University confirm what we already knew: sexual violence is an endemic on post-secondary school campuses and a culture shift is long overdue. At Beckett, we stand with survivors. To all survivors, we encourage you to make the choice that feels right to you. If you have been impacted by sexual or gender-based violence, supports are available.

Read More