Retired former Guelph priest faces second sexual assault charge

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Guelph Mercury

2 March 2011

Vik Kirsch, Mercury staff

GUELPH — A former St. John the Baptist Catholic Church priest faces a second sexual assault charge.

Guelph Police arrested and charged James (Jim) Boudreau, 67, on Monday, following investigation into an allegation dating back to 1983, police reported Tuesday. He was granted bail later that day in a Guelph courtroom.

Last December, the Guelph Police Service first investigated Boudreau after receiving what it termed a “historical allegation of sexual impropriety.” That led to a charge of sexual assault, being laid on Jan. 12, relating to an alleged occurrence in 1984.

The city police service asserts separate complainants are linked to each charge. The second complainant came forward after the first charge was made public.

The paunchy, short, bald and spectacled former priest wore blue jeans, a green casual shirt and a black leather jacket Tuesday as he stood before justice of the peace Avis Rodney for a morning bail hearing at Ontario Court of Justice on Wyndham Street.

Noting a clean criminal record, a subdued Boudreau was granted bail on a $5,000 surety, which he wasn’t required to provide. He was released on his own recognizance with the requirement he live in his Hamilton apartment and have no contact with the complainants. He also must refrain from being in the company of youths under the age of 18, except in the presence of another adult.

His case is to return to court March 15.

Boudreau, who appeared Tuesday with a lawyer and another person, had no objection to the conditions and made no comment in court. There was a publication ban on details of the alleged incidents a prosecutor presented at the hearing.

Avoiding reporters and news cameras, Boudreau exited a side door at the court Tuesday, entered a waiting black sedan and was driven away.

Boudreau was pastor of the east-side Catholic church from 1978 to 1985. He subsequently worked at other area churches, including St. John’s Catholic Church in Kitchener.

He retired more than a year ago.

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