Warrant issued for priest accused of child molesting

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Vancouver Sun

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.

5 Responses to Warrant issued for priest accused of child molesting

  1. S says:

    If you follow the career of Evangelical Free Church, William Ruggles, he was also a pastor in Prince George with the Evangelical Free Church.

  2. proudsurvivor says:

    I’m wondering if there’s more info on the rev. Thomas Desmond mentioned in this article. St. Ann’s Quesnel lists a pastor Barry Desmond from 1983-1989. Is this the same person? What became of the charges? Is he related to Fr. Jerry Desmond, who it appears served in Quesnel as well? My in-laws knew Jerry Desmond well from his time spent in Vernon, BC. I don’t think there were any allegations against him.

  3. Sylvia says:

    Thanks for drawing that name to attention proudsurvivor. I don’t have it on the Accused list.

    I did a quick look: in the 1985-86 directory there was a Father Thomas F. Desmond in Quesnel. There is no Barry Quesnel in the directory. The only other Desmonds listed in the Index are Father Jerry F. Desmond in Salmon Arm, BC, and a Father Gerard Desmond ssc, a member of the Society of the Holy Cross serving in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

    Father Thomas D was ordained 1965 – he’s listed with the Diocese of Kamloops. Father Jerry D was ordained 1996 – he’s also listed with the Diocese of Kamloops. They may be brothers? or cousins?

    When I get back from my holiday I will add Father Thomas Desmond to the list. I see he was still listed on “Sabbatical” in 1996, and “On leave” in 1998. He is not listed in the 1999 directory so either died, was laicized or left the country.

    It will probably prove difficult to track down media from 1989. I will do what I can – I’m quite certain I don’t have any clippings or files but will double check. If anyone has any info on these charges please contact me at cornwall@theinquiry.ca

  4. proudsurvivor says:

    Thanks Sylvia! I can spend some time at the public library next week checking their clippings and microfiche for 1989. It would certainly be easier if there were a specific date. It was fr. Jerry D that my in-laws knew who said mass at their 50th 14 years ago. I believe he’s now a Monsignor.

  5. Sylvia says:

    That’s great! Try looking at papers on 12 & 13 December 1989 for starters. Accodring to the clipping above he had a court appearance 12 December 1989 – there’s a good chance of something in the paper the next day, – and MAYBE even there would be something on the 11 th advising that he was to appear on the 12th?

    And yes, Jerry D is now a Monsignor.

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