Priest guilty of two sexual assaults

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The Hamilton Spectator

26 January 2012

Former Catholic priest James Boudreau arrives Wednesday afternoon at Guelph's Ontario Court of Justice.

ARRIVING AT COURTFormer Catholic priest James Boudreau arrives Wednesday afternoon at Guelph’s Ontario Court of Justice.

Scott Tracey/Guelph Mercury

 

GUELPH Former Hamilton Catholic priest James Boudreau has pleaded guilty to sexual assault.

Boudreau, a 68-year-old bald, heavy-set man, wearing silver-rimmed glasses, stood beside his lawyer Roger Yachetti as he pleaded guilty in Guelph’s provincial court to two sexual assaults.

He will be sentenced April 13.

Court was told Boudreau, now retired, took advantage of a young man’s friendship and another’s interest in the clergy when he sexually assaulted the two in the 1980s.

Boudreau served as pastor at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, on Victoria Road North, from 1978 to 1985. He went on to work at six other Ontario churches, including Kitchener’s St. John’s Catholic Church.

He is the former pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption Roman Catholic Church in Stoney Creek

One of the complainants was an active member of the St. John the Baptist parish in July 1984 and was a family friend of Boudreau when the sexual assault took place, said assistant Crown attorney Steve Hamilton.

Since the victim was about 12, the pair who celebrated the same birthday would get together to celebrate with a movie or dinner, Hamilton said. Just before the victim turned 18, they made plans to have dinner and see a movie.

Following dinner, Boudreau suggested they watch the movie at his home. Court heard both men drank about three to four beers, while they watched the movie and Boudreau began to discuss sex, showing the victim a book called The Joy of Sex.

Boudreau took the victim to another room and told him to lie on his back while he gave him a massage, Hamilton said. He suggested the victim remove his shirt and then told him to take off his pants. Boudreau stroked the victim’s penis through his underwear and then went on to perform oral sex on him, court heard.

Boudreau then had the victim perform oral sex on him, Hamilton said.

“The complainant became distraught and began to cry,” he said.

The victim left Boudreau’s home on foot. Boudreau got into his vehicle and followed him, convincing him to get inside so he could take him home, court heard.

Guelph Police arrested Boudreau in January 2011 shortly after that victim reported the incident. News of Boudreau’s arrest had the second victim step forward and file a sexual assault complaint against him, regarding an incident dating back to 1983.

Court heard the second victim was 15 in 1983 and sought Boudreau’s advice on entering the priesthood. Boudreau invited the teenager to his home to discuss his interest further.

At his home, Hamilton said, Boudreau told the victim circumcision was a requirement of the clergy and asked whether he had been circumcised. The Crown said the accused asked the boy to remove his pants to check and he then took the boy’s penis in his hands, when the teen expressed discomfort and told him he had been previously abused.

Court heard nothing further happened.

“You can appreciate these events were from 30 years ago … but he accepts these facts,” Yachetti told the court.

The defence lawyer said he would be seeking a conditional sentence on behalf of his client, when they return for sentencing on April 13. The Crown also expects to submit victim impact statements at the time.

Yachetti declined comment Wednesday as he left the courtroom Monday as did a friend of one of the victim’s who was present.

Monsignor Vincent Kerr, Chancellor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hamilton said after Boudreau was arrested by police in Guelph Jan. 12, 2011, a letter was sent to all the affected parishes. Kerr also made it clear to police that the diocese would help with anything required

Kerr said at the time that Boudreau had a clean record and described hime as “an extrovert” with a “certain style” and “effusive personality.”

In 1978, Boudreau was ordained in the United States into the Barnabite Catholic order, Kerr said.

He began his career the same year at St. John the Baptist in Guelph as an associate pastor. He remained there until 1985, when he was sent to St. James Roman Catholic Church in Oakville, where he stayed until 1989.

From 1989 to 1996, Boudreau worked at Our Lady of the Assumption Roman Catholic Church in Stoney Creek, where he became a full pastor.

He was a pastor at St. Gabriel Roman Catholic Church in Burlington from 1996 to 2002, St. John’s Catholic Church in Kitchener from 2002 to 2009 and, finally, at Canadian Martyrs Roman Catholic Church in Hamilton in 2009.

He retired in December that year and was living in Hamilton

With files from The Hamilton Spectator

tdharmarajah@guelphmercury.com

The Guelph Mercury

_________________________________

Priest guilty of two sexual assaults

insidehamilton.com

26 January 2012

Priest guilty of two sexual assaults. Former Catholic priest James Boudreau arrives Wednesday afternoon at Guelph’s Ontario Court of Justice. Scott Tracey/Guelph Mercury

GUELPH –  Former Hamilton Catholic priest James Boudreau has pleaded guilty to sexual assault.

Boudreau, a 68-year-old bald, heavy-set man, wearing silver-rimmed glasses, stood beside his lawyer Roger Yachetti as he pleaded guilty in Guelph’s provincial court to two sexual assaults.

He will be sentenced April 13.

Court was told Boudreau, now retired, took advantage of a young man’s friendship and another’s interest in the clergy when he sexually assaulted the two in the 1980s.

Boudreau served as pastor at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, on Victoria Road North, from 1978 to 1985. He went on to work at six other Ontario churches, including Kitchener’s St. John’s Catholic Church.

He is the former pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption Roman Catholic Church in Stoney Creek

One of the complainants was an active member of the St. John the Baptist parish in July 1984 and was a family friend of Boudreau when the sexual assault took place, said assistant Crown attorney Steve Hamilton.

Since the victim was about 12, the pair who celebrated the same birthday would get together to celebrate with a movie or dinner, Hamilton said. Just before the victim turned 18, they made plans to have dinner and see a movie.

Following dinner, Boudreau suggested they watch the movie at his home. Court heard both men drank about three to four beers, while they watched the movie and Boudreau began to discuss sex, showing the victim a book called The Joy of Sex.

Boudreau took the victim to another room and told him to lie on his back while he gave him a massage, Hamilton said. He suggested the victim remove his shirt and then told him to take off his pants. Boudreau stroked the victim’s penis through his underwear and then went on to perform oral sex on him, court heard.

Boudreau then had the victim perform oral sex on him, Hamilton said.

“The complainant became distraught and began to cry,” he said.

The victim left Boudreau’s home on foot. Boudreau got into his vehicle and followed him, convincing him to get inside so he could take him home, court heard.

Guelph Police arrested Boudreau in January 2011 shortly after that victim reported the incident. News of Boudreau’s arrest had the second victim step forward and file a sexual assault complaint against him, regarding an incident dating back to 1983.

Court heard the second victim was 15 in 1983 and sought Boudreau’s advice on entering the priesthood. Boudreau invited the teenager to his home to discuss his interest further.

At his home, Hamilton said, Boudreau told the victim circumcision was a requirement of the clergy and asked whether he had been circumcised. The Crown said the accused asked the boy to remove his pants to check and he then took the boy’s penis in his hands, when the teen expressed discomfort and told him he had been previously abused.

Court heard nothing further happened.

“You can appreciate these events were from 30 years ago … but he accepts these facts,” Yachetti told the court.

The defence lawyer said he would be seeking a conditional sentence on behalf of his client, when they return for sentencing on April 13. The Crown also expects to submit victim impact statements at the time.

Yachetti declined comment Wednesday as he left the courtroom Monday as did a friend of one of the victim’s who was present.

Monsignor Vincent Kerr, Chancellor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hamilton said after Boudreau was arrested by police in Guelph Jan. 12, 2011, a letter was sent to all the affected parishes. Kerr also made it clear to police that the diocese would help with anything required

Kerr said at the time that Boudreau had a clean record and described hime as “an extrovert” with a “certain style” and “effusive personality.”

In 1978, Boudreau was ordained in the United States into the Barnabite Catholic order, Kerr said.

He began his career the same year at St. John the Baptist in Guelph as an associate pastor. He remained there until 1985, when he was sent to St. James Roman Catholic Church in Oakville, where he stayed until 1989.

From 1989 to 1996, Boudreau worked at Our Lady of the Assumption Roman Catholic Church in Stoney Creek, where he became a full pastor.

He was a pastor at St. Gabriel Roman Catholic Church in Burlington from 1996 to 2002, St. John’s Catholic Church in Kitchener from 2002 to 2009 and, finally, at Canadian Martyrs Roman Catholic Church in Hamilton in 2009.

He retired in December that year and was living in Hamilton

– With files from The Hamilton Spectator

12 Responses to Priest guilty of two sexual assaults

  1. Ann Marie Nachuk says:

    Our family was very close to Father Jim when he was at St. James Parish. He would come for Sunday Dinners, and we always had fun as a family, and I had moved home with a two year old daughter, from a broken marriage., and Father Jim would talk to me and seem to make everything better. To this day our family includes him in anniversaries, and other party’s. We all miss him terrably. I always thought I would still be in the church if Father Jim was still practicing. God Bless Him. Ann Marie (Nachuk) Estrela. We Miss Him

  2. JG says:

    Ann Marie,
    Please don’t take this as an “attack”, but did you have any thoughts, feelings or an attempt at understanding what the victims had to go through?…I find it difficult to think “he was good to me so the rest doesn’t matter”…
    How about “God Bless his victims doubly and give them Peace and Shelter”.
    Life is difficult for all of us…impossible for many victims.
    My thoughts are for them first, then I pray that he will devote the rest of his life at doing Good, as penance, and is a very humble way without expecting anything in return…There is a price for “forgiveness”…
    jg

    • PJ says:

      I agree with you…this site is not really the place for warm and fuzzy thoughts on these molesters…the victims/survivors would certainly not with this guy the best!

      • JG says:

        PJ,
        I simply wanted to point out to Ann Marie that she had not a word for the victims, simply. I have no desire to control what or who expresses their experiences in relation to these abusers. I thought it may have been an oversight at worst. “My thoughts are for the victims first”; the abusers I try to give the least air time possible: indifference with a short leash!
        I agree with Mike Mc, below, that these abusers have affected a lot of people and families who need our patience in understanding their pain. I want them as allies in the future not as opponents, if at all possible…
        The children can only benefit from a larger group of adults looking out for them.

        jg

    • Larry Green says:

      No jg , there is no price for forgiveness. The last thing you should want to do is to berate those who receive the strength and the courage to do just that because that dosn’t come from the church, that strength and that courage comes from Jesus Himself!

      • JG says:

        Larry,
        …”without expecting anything in return…There is a price for “forgiveness… ”
        Completely agree with you…”He paid the price” and we are called to follow in “imitation”…”penance”, “repentance”…and hopefully the desire to do better…or else it can become a trick to simply start over and over and over…
        Where are you headed with this?…You see this as berating…?!!
        Not much I can add.
        jg

        • Larry Green says:

          No jg, we aren’t in agreement at all.

          • JG says:

            Well Larry,
            Thank You ! I am relieved I will not be the first one you would agree with on anything!…I am so glad you came in to correct me and my misguided opinion. You must be right once more… as usual! Forgive my ignorance.
            Imagine how awful it might have been for Ann Marie to voice her opinion as well. We may have ended up in a civil exchange instead of your testosterone measuring cup!
            You should voice your opinion like everyone else Larry. It seems your interventions are always to correct the rest of us “the misguided” , “misinformed”, the “mistaken”or to seek new sparing partners. You either like being controversial or need to built up your self -esteem at others expense…Your “pattern” of “interference” reminds me of a peeping Tom who claims to be washing the windows!…You are quick to lecture with your “religious correctness”(?!), with Jesus as your supporting actor, but slow to emulate his generosity.
            Maybe you should comment on the subject at hand. You might become an interesting read.
            This is more time than you should ever get for your derailments…
            Over and out, for four days…
            jg

  3. Mike Mc says:

    My two cents worth here……..Well Anne Marie is certainly entitled to her thoughts she made publicly. I have made public thoughts in the past about two priests I knew in my community as well as a Bishop, and I have said I thought they were once good men and that it saddened me to see their dark side. Sadness came after shock (after I heard the news) and after shock did come anger. I was told more than once on this site that these men I respected were “wolves in sheep clothing” etc. But truthfully, I was saddened to know that these men did what they did. I believe they performed priestly duties when “I knew them”. A confirmation class I had with the Bishop was top rate! I can only imagine the shock and confusion my students must now feel years later about their Bishop.
    But my point is that Anne Marie should be able to make her comments known without anybody telling her that “this is not the place to make….” I believe this site allows folks to make comments…..and that, in fact, may be part of their own healing process as they come to know who this priest really was. I’ve no doubt the priest in question for Anne Marie did good in her life. It’s unfortunate and very bad what he did do to others. But I think we owe people their chance to communicate their thoughts and perhaps they will see the light over time.

    • 1 abandoned sheep says:

      JG- Maybe the problem is Larry is confused, and todaY is Anonymous Martin.
      We are all confused about the efforts of Larry, or whoever he or she is

  4. Sylvia says:

    Yes, Anne Marie is entitled to express her thoughts, and in so doing must be prepared for the responses she might get after speaking highly of a convicted clerical molester without regard for the damage he inflicted upon his victims and the disgrace he brought to the priesthood.

    This is part of the reality of ‘the problem. ‘ Some people have great difficulty accepting the fact that their priest really did those awful things. Some will never accept the fact and choose to recall only the “good ” that they knew/know I don’t know where Anne Marie fits. Hopefully she is struggling to accept the reality that the Father Boudreau she knew is one and the same Father Boudreau who first groomed his victims and then took advantage of their trust and friendship: a wolf in sheep’s clothing. As Mike Mc says, it’s not easy.

  5. Mike Mc says:

    “Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime.”

    I had mentioned this quote before. T’is worth repeating.

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