Retired Alexandria-Cornwall priest Denis Vaillancourt’s charge: sexual assault

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Cornwall Standard Freeholder

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 11:08:47 EST AM

By Greg Peerenboom, Cornwall Standard-Freeholder

Sexual assault is the charge behind the arrest of a retired Alexandria-Cornwall Diocese priest, say SDG Ontario Provincial Police.

The diocese revealed Friday that Denis Vaillancourt, 70, had been arrested and charged under the Criminal Code of Canada on Oct. 29. The diocese did not identify the charge or provide any information about the circumstances leading to Vaillancourt’s arrest.

The OPP identified the charge Tuesday, saying it comes out of an incident involving an adult male at a South Glengarry home in September. The OPP investigation began when it received a report of the incident on Oct. 18.

Vaillancourt now lives in Lasalle, Que. He has been released to appear in Alexandria court on Nov. 18.

He had served the diocese in a number of capacities, including as parish priest of Eglise Sacre-Coeur in Alexandria.

Vaillancourt’s charge brings back dark memories of the multitude of accusations levelled at the diocese during the 1990s and 2000s, for the roles it played involving historical sex offences, leading to the Cornwall Public Inquiry.

The leading case that sparked the inquiry and the OPP-led Project Truth probe into sex offences was sparked by the diocese’s payoff of David Silmser involving his sex abuse allegations.

Vaillancourt was the diocese chancellor who handled Silmser’s complaint along with one other priest and the diocese lawyer.

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