Peterborough priest, Father Neil Pereira, arrested for alleged sexual assault of a minor

August 14, 2023

By: Peterborough This Week

Beckett Personal Injury Office's Scales of Justice's article image

Peterborough Bishop Miehm releases statement regarding charges laid against priest

Police have arrested and charged a Peterborough priest with the alleged sexual assault and sexual interference of a person under the age of 16.

In a media release issued on Wednesday, July 26, police said investigators with the Peterborough Police Service’s Sexual Offences Unit charged Father Neil Pereira with sexual assault and sexual interference.

Sexual Interference is when a person, for a sexual purpose, touches, directly or indirectly, a part of the body or with an object, any part of the body of a person under the age of 16 years.

“The accused is an ordained Priest with the Catholic Church and has been working in the City of Peterborough since late 2022,” say police. “Investigators are in contact with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Peterborough, who are co-operating with Investigators.”

While police do not normally release the names of the accused, police say Pereira’s identity is “being released as the nature of the offences leads us to concerns there may be other victims.”

The accused will appear in court on Aug. 8.

Police say they are not releasing any more information about this case as it is now before the courts.

Soon after the police release was issued, Bishop Daniel Miehm, with Roman Catholic Diocese of Peterborough, released a statement.

Here is Bishop Miehm's statement verbatim:

“The Peterborough Police Services charged Father Neil Pereira today with sexual interference and sexual assault of a minor. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Peterborough received an allegation in June of sexual and professional misconduct involving Fr. Neil Pereira. The allegation was immediately reported to the Children’s Aid Society and the Peterborough Police Services. Fr. Pereira was removed from pastoral ministry upon receipt of the allegation. Fr. Pereira is a priest from the Archdiocese of Toronto on loan for campus ministry in the Diocese of Peterborough. The officials of the Archdiocese of Toronto have been kept informed by the Diocese of Peterborough throughout this process, including the laying of criminal charges today.

All allegations of abuse and/or misconduct are addressed seriously and thoroughly in accordance with the Diocesan policy. No further statement will be released at this time, as this matter is now before the Courts. Please pray for all those who are impacted by this difficult situation."

In Peterborough, Pereira was appointed as the campus minister for Trent University and Fleming College in 2022 through Peterborough Campus Ministry. On its website, Pereira is listed as director. The mission of Peterborough Campus Ministry is to accompany students of Trent University and Sir Sandford Fleming College into a personal and life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ, according to the group's website.

"On behalf of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Peterborough (Ontario), we support and collaborate with the Catholic Council of Trent and Fleming College Catholics, the respective registered student associations on both campuses," reads the site.

According to the Archdiocese of Toronto's Facebook page, Father Pereira was ordained on June 27, 2020.

"Newly ordained Fr. Neil Pereira was born in Manama, Bahrain, grew up in Mumbai, India, and eventually immigrated to Canada," reads a Facebook post from July 1, 2020.

According to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Peterborough’s website Pereira served as associate pastor at St. Isaac Jogues Parish in Pickering as well.

Anyone with additional information is asked by police to contact Detective Const. Jacob Donnelly at extension 705-876-1122 ext. 335, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Published on July 26, 2023

Beckett Personal Injury Office In Downtown London

September 14, 2023

The Critical Importance of Contacting a Lawyer Immediately After an Accident or Injury

Accidents happen when we least expect them, leaving us stunned, injured, and bewildered about what steps to take next. Whether it's a car accident, a slip and fall, a dog bite, a workplace mishap, or any other type of accident, one thing remains constant: time is of the essence. In the aftermath of an accident, reaching out to a lawyer immediately might just be the most crucial decision you can make.

Read More
Beckett Personal Injury Office In Downtown London

August 30, 2023

Team Beckett and Canadian Blood Services: A Partnership for Life

We take for granted that blood will be there when we need it. But this summer, Canada’s blood inventory is extremely strained, with over 100,000 open appointments urgently requiring donors.

Read More
Beckett Personal Injury Office In Downtown London

August 23, 2023

I Was Injured In A Hit And Run. Am I Out Of Luck?

Being injured in a motor vehicle accident is a distressing event for anyone. It is only made more stressful when the at-fault driver leaves the scene before providing their insurance information. Many people believe that if they can’t identify the other driver, then there is nothing they can do. Fortunately, there are options for victims of hit and run accidents.

Read More