Following his third arrest on assorted sex charges that are alleged to have been committed between 1994 and 2011, police investigators now believe 56 year-old Brian Boucher – a Catholic priest – may have assaulted several more boys (minors) over the past decade and they want to hear about it. As of last week’s court appearance, Boucher now stands accused of sexual interference, sexual contact, sexual assault and at least one ‘break and enter’ after which he was released under very strict conditions and forbidden to be in the presence of minors.
When the police first began to hear allegations about the priest’s activities during the summer of 2015, they began to investigate assorted complaints with the full cooperation of the Archdiocese of Montreal. However, as Boucher was still a working priest in Montreal’s Town of Mount Royal when he was recently arrested, people want to know what the diocese knew about Boucher and why they continued to move him around from parish to parish all over the island during the twenty years that preceded his arrest. As Boucher worked out of churches located in Senneville, Dorval and Lasalle from 1985 to 2015, police have reason to believe that the priest may have assaulted several of his victims long before there were any questions raised about the priest’s erratic behavior – especially when he was working with children.
According to SPVM media spokesman Benoit Boiselle, Boucher was first arrested, then released (with conditions) back in January with a promise to appear back in court at a later date. Following more complaints, he was once again arrested after which he was relieved of his duties and sent to live in a convent in the east end of the city where he will remain until his trial. In a statement released last week following the Boucher arrest, Bishop Alain Faubert repeated that the Catholic Church had a ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards any kind of abuse, and that it offered its full cooperation with the police once it was aware of the allegations that were being made against Father Boucher.
“We would like to reiterate our willingness to do everything to bring the truth to light,” said Bishop Faubert’s statement, “…and we renew our commitment to ensure that everyone who calls upon or looks to the church is treated with compassion and respect.”
Maybe so, but that still doesn’t answer what the diocese knew about Brian Boucher long before last week’s arrest when city police once again put the handcuffs on a middle-aged parish priest accused of sex crimes with minors who were (even momentarily) under his care.