February 17, 2006

Church knew of sex-abuse allegations years ago, accuser claims as 14 more charges laid against priest

The Ottawa Citizen

Andrew Seymour, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Friday, February 17, 2006
An alleged victim of a retired Pembroke-area priest who is now accused of sexually assaulting seven young males said the Catholic Church knew about allegations of sexually impropriety decades before criminal charges were laid.

"There are people in the church who knew," the man told Citizen yesterday after 14 new charges were laid against Monsignor Bernard Prince for alleged sexual assaults on six young males, including two from Ottawa, in the late 1960s to mid-1970s and the 1980s. Msgr. Prince already faced a single charge of buggery and indecent assault one one young male.

The alleged victim, who cannot be identified due to a court-ordered publication ban, said the church moved Msgr. Prince, who was released on bail yesterday, to a new post after he made the allegations. "We're not sure who moved him but he did get moved," the man said.

Rev. Peter Proulx, who handles sexual abuse complaints for the Pembroke diocese, said he was not aware of any allegations made against Msgr. Prince prior to the OPP investigation that was launched last May.

Posted by kshaw at February 17, 2006 08:15 AM