“Montreal priest sentenced to 8 years for sexually abusing 2 underage boys” & related articles

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Montreal priest who sexually abused boys gets 8 years in prison

Brian Boucher found guilty in 2 separate cases

CBC News

Posted: Mar 25, 2019 10:37 AM ET | Last Updated: March 25

Brian Boucher was a priest at 10 English-language Roman Catholic parishes in the Montreal area, including in Senneville, LaSalle, Dorval, the Town of Mount-Royal and downtown Montreal. (SPVM)

A Montreal priest who sexually abused two former parishioners when they were boys has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Quebec court Judge Patricia Compagnone handed down the sentence to Brian Boucher Monday, based on a joint recommendation from the Crown and the defence. 

Boucher was handcuffed in the courtroom and led away by a constable.

Boucher, who worked at 10 churches in Montreal over the course of two decades, pleaded guilty in January to abusing a former altar boy in LaSalle in the 1990s.

That victim was just 11 when the abuse began. That abuse continued for two years.

He was also found guilty of sexually assaulting another victim, also a former altar boy, starting in 2008, in the rectory of a church in the Town of Mount Royal when he was the parish priest there.

‘Deliberate and calculated’ acts, victim tells court

Both victims gave impact statements Monday morning.

The younger victim said he still has daily flashbacks about the abuse and that he suffers panic attacks whenever the phone rings or when he sees the same model of car that Boucher drove.

“Father Boucher’s actions were deliberate and calculated,” said the man, who is not being identified because he was a minor at the time of the abuse.

The man said he ultimately came forward to spare other children from suffering what he endured.

The older of the victims said it was hard to put into words the impact Boucher’s abuse had on his life.

“It takes something from you that you know you’re never going to get back,” he said.

He said the abuse will always be present in his life, and  it is something he has to talk about with anyone he hopes to get close to.

In a statement Monday, the Montreal Roman Catholic archdiocese said it is “satisfied that justice has been served, marking a critical step in the healing process for all those terribly wounded by [Boucher’s] conduct: the victims, their loved ones and the community.”

The statement notes that Boucher is “permanently barred from all ministerial functions within the Church.”

About the Author

Steve Rukavina

Steve Rukavina is a journalist with CBC Montreal.

 

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Montreal priest sentenced to eight years for sexually abusing two boys

canada.com

The Canadian Press

Published: March 26, 2019 – 4:19 AM

By Sidhartha Banerjee

Brian Boucher, 56, is shown in this undated police handout photo. A Montreal priest who sexually abused two boys has been handed an eight-year prison term. Rev. Brian Boucher was impassive as Quebec court Judge Patricia Compagnone announced she agreed with a joint sentencing recommendation from the Crown and defence. Following a trial, Boucher was found guilty Jan. 8 of sexually assaulting one of the victims. In the second case, he pleaded guilty to sex-related charges as a trial was set to begin Jan. 21. Boucher had worked in 10 Montreal-area churches between 1985 and 2015. The abuse took place at two different churches between 1995 and 1999 in the case of one victim and between 2008 and 2011 in the other. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO – SPVM

MONTREAL — A Montreal priest who sexually abused two boys under his tutelage was handcuffed and led away to prison Monday as his two victims looked on.

Rev. Brian Boucher was impassive as Quebec court Judge Patricia Compagnone announced Monday she agreed with a joint sentencing recommendation from the Crown and defence, calling the eight-year federal prison term neither lenient nor unduly harsh.

“The accused abused two young boys entrusted to him by family members because of his position,” Compagnone said. “Clearly the behaviour of the accused in committing these crimes has significant impact on both the victims, considering their age and personal circumstances.”

Both victims, now adults, delivered impact statements earlier Monday, explaining the abuse would always stay with them.

“Because of the accused’s behaviour, they carry a life sentence with them,” Compagnone noted. “No sentence imposed on the accused will give them back what was taken from them by him.”

Following a trial in which he denied the abuse, Boucher was found guilty Jan. 8 of sexually assaulting one of the victims between 2008 and 2011. In the second case, the Catholic priest pleaded guilty to sex-related charges between 1995 and 1999 just as a trial was set to begin Jan. 21.

The judge noted the frequency and types of assaults made it clear they were not isolated incidents. She also noted the accused used “fear and religion” to keep his victims quiet and his position as their priest to plan how he could be alone with them.

“Here the accused is the only one responsible for the commission of these crimes — not the church, not the victims’ parents nor their caretakers, and certainly not (the victims),” Compagnone said. “They (the victims) are to be honoured and respected for having denounced the accused’s behaviour, whatever the moment they chose to do so,” adding it was never too late to denounce such “devious and inappropriate behaviour.”

The archdiocese supported the complainants and collaborated with police before the Crown proceeded with charges. The judge applauded the church’s involvement but said more is needed.

“When a wolf is in sheep’s clothing, what can be done to detect or deter him?” she asked. “The church certainly has a lot of reflection to do regarding this.”

Boucher worked in 10 Montreal-area churches between 1985 and 2015. The abuse took place at two churches, and one of the victims raised concerns in his statement Monday there could be other victims.

Crown prosecutor Annabelle Sheppard said the victims were satisfied with the outcome. “Seeing Brian Boucher taken away in handcuffs was a symbolic end to a long journey,” Sheppard said outside the courtroom.

“It was a long process for them, but a victorious one,” she added. “But even with a conviction, and a sentence that is a substantial sentence, it will not undo or take away the pain they have suffered and continue to suffer.”

Bishop Thomas Dowd, who was involved in supporting the victims, thanked them for coming forward.

“I know how hard it was for you, and I’ve so much admiration for your courage. You are my heroes,” Dowd read from a prepared statement outside the courtroom. “Today is your day, not Brian Boucher’s, and the rest of your life belongs to you, not him.”

As for Boucher, Dowd spared no disdain for his fellow priest.

“How could you do this? You were given the love and trust of literally hundreds of people, you betrayed and manipulated them, you shamed the church and discredited the work of your fellow brother priests, and one day you’ll face the even greater judgment of God himself,” Dowd said, urging Boucher to take his time behind bars to consider the impact of his crimes.

In its own statement, the Montreal archdiocese called the prison sentence a “critical step” in the healing process of all those “terribly wounded by his conduct.” Canonical proceedings that could see Boucher defrocked are ongoing, but in the meantime he is permanently barred from all ministerial functions within the church.

2 Responses to “Montreal priest sentenced to 8 years for sexually abusing 2 underage boys” & related articles

  1. Mike Fitzgerald says:

    Just returned home from a truly re-evangelizing week-end in Toronto, after attending the premiere screening of the documentary “Prey” by Matt Gallagher. It was wonderful to see our old “group” together – Patrick, Jerry, Rod, Brenda, Rob, Terry et al – and share a couple of days of friendship and stories.
    Bishop Thomas Dowd flew in from Montreal on Friday afternoon to be with us and support us through this very emotional reunion and screening of the movie. Notably absent in the theatre were any other Roman collars. Particularly absent were Fr. Tom Rosica and Father Katulski.
    I, and others are profoundly impacted by Bishop Dowd’s humble courage in attending with us (in full uniform I might add – he didn’t hide from anyone). Most people thanked the Bishop for being there, and were quite gracious. However, as can be expected, 4 or 5 people confronted Bishop Dowd in the theatre following the movie. I was shocked at how he remained humble (even contrite) and stood there in the theatre and “took it on the chin”, in support of we the victims. What an example for all of us to follow!!!
    There is “something” happening in Montreal, and I want to believe that it is good – maybe a new start. It’s like the microscopic mustard seed – plant it, water and nourish it, and it could eventually become a large and powerful tree. Mike.

  2. Mike Fitzgerald says:

    As a footnote to the above – it had always been my hope that the leadership of the Episcopal Corporation of the Diocese of Pembroke would take the lead in these matters. Evidently I was wrong.
    I would never have expected a Bishop from the Archdiocese of Montreal to step forward with such courage and fortitude and take the lead in place of my own old Diocese. Mike.

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