07 October 1989
A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a Catholic priest from the Kootenays who has been charged with two counts of molesting children.
Nelson Crown prosecutor Dana Urban would not comment on the warrant issued for Rev. Luke Meunier, except to say Meunier is in Florida. Police are also continuing an investigation.
Meunier is one of more than a dozen B.C. clergymen – and the fifth in the Kootenays – to be charged or convicted of sexual offences in the past two years.
Rev. Robert Whyte, a 68-year-old Catholic priest, has been ordered to appear in Nelson provincial court in January 1990 to enter a plea on 16 counts of sexual assault against Catholic boys.
Urban said Whyte is currently undergoing psychological counselling in the United States.
Meanwhile, the minister at Evangelical Covenant Church in Creston, Larry Fullerton, 52, has had his trial adjourned to Nov. 6. During three days of testimony in September, young girls testified that Fullerton molested them at a summer church camp.
A number of other B.C.-related molesting cases involving clergy are outstanding:
* In Terrace, the former pastor of Evangelical Free Church, William Ruggles, has had his preliminary hearing postponed to January on seven charges of sexual offences against children.
* In Quesnel, Rev. Thomas Desmond, the Catholic priest at St. Anne’s Catholic Church, will appear in court Dec. 12 to face one count of sexual assault relating to a 1989 incident.
* Rev. Eric Dejeager, a Catholic priest arrested this summer while taking a course at evangelical Christian Trinity Western University in Langley, will appear in court in the Northwest Territories in December on seven counts of molesting children.
* Three Catholic priests or brothers, who were arrested this year while working in B.C., have been charged in Newfoundland with molesting young boys at Mount Cashel orphanage.
In the past year, more than 30 Catholic priests and brothers in B.C., Alberta, Ontario and Newfoundland have been charged or convicted of molesting children.