Published on: January 19, 2017 | Last Updated: January 19, 2017 6:18 PM EST
A disgraced Ottawa priest convicted of molesting altar boys in the 1960s and 1970s has been re-arrested after he allegedly visited a Lowertown swimming pool frequented by children – a breach of his release conditions – nearly 100 times.
Gatineau police arrested Jacques Faucher, 80, on Monday, nine days before he was scheduled to be sentenced on historical sex crimes involving three children. Faucher was free on bail while awaiting sentencing.
Police allege he attended the kids section of the pool at the Centre aquatique Paul-Pelletier 96 times between Nov. 24, 2015 and Dec. 22, 2016, according to court documents. The documents claim he did not once visit the adult swimming pool in that one-year period. Neither the police, nor the court documents viewed by the Citizen detailed how authorities determined Faucher had visited the pool 96 times.
Ottawa police arrested the former priest in 2013 after five male complainants came forward with allegations he molested them when they were between the ages of nine and 13 at the former Notre-Dame-des-Anges parish near Tunney’s Pasture.
All the complainants, whose names are shielded by a publication ban, recounted similar stories of Faucher touching them while he sat them on his knee when he was alone with them in his office.
He was found guilty in March 2016 of six counts of indecent assault and gross indecency on evidence from three of the five boys who testified against him.
One of the conditions of his release from custody in 2013 was to not attend any public parks or swimming pools where children under the age of 16 are expected to be present. However, a variation in his bail application permitted him to visit the public pool, but only in the section for people 50 and older on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Faucher and his surety signed the document on March 1, 2013 and he was released on a $3,000 bond.
When he appeared at the Gatineau courthouse on Tuesday following a warrant for his arrest, a justice of the peace denied his bail and ordered that he remain in custody.
His lawyer on the breach charges, Pascal Cloutier, did not return the Citizen’s calls on Thursday.
Faucher is scheduled to return to the Gatineau courthouse on Feb. 13 for the breach charge, which will be dealt with separately from his molestation trial.
The 80-year-old former priest will learn his fate next Wednesday when Ontario Superior Court Justice Pierre Roger delivers his decision on sentencing at the Ottawa courthouse.
The Crown prosecutor in the molestation trial is asking the judge to sentence the former priest to 18 months in jail, followed by three years of probation. The defence is asking for a conditional sentence.
Last November, the Citizen reported the Archdiocese of Ottawa wrote a $50,000 cheque to one of the five complainants in 1998 when he was an adult after he reported to the church that Faucher allegedly molested him. Documents obtained by the paper show the man was asked to sign a confidentiality agreement before receiving the cheque.