March 2, 2017 6:18 pm
Updated: March 3, 2017 5:37 pm

Montreal priest charged with sexual assault spanning 15 years

WATCH ABOVE: A Roman Catholic priest from a parish in Montreal’s Town of Mount Royal has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of sexual assault and sexual touching. Global's Amanda Jelowicki reports.

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Father Brian Boucher, who started working as the parish priest at a church in Montreal’s Town of Mount Royal (TMR) in 2005, has been charged with several counts of sexual assault and sexual touching against three minors.

He appeared in court Thursday.

The 55-year-old had been heavily involved in all activities at the Our Lady of the Annunciation Church, including helping children with their first communions and confirmations.

READ MORE: Montreal Catholic Church moving towards forbidding priests from being alone with children

In recent years, rumours about inappropriate behaviour started spreading among parishioners.

A publication ban prohibits any details of the case that could identify the victims.

The exterior of Our Lady of the Annunciation Church on Montreal’s TMR region, Thursday, March 2, 2017.

Amanda Jelowicki/Global News

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The shocking arrest comes about a year after parishioners started discussing Boucher’s alleged behaviour amongst themselves.

One churchgoer contacted Global News last December to say her sons were scared while doing their catechism, complaining about physical aggression and verbal abuse if they were late.

The mother, who cannot be identified due to the publication ban, said she is also concerned the church tried hiding the allegations, claiming a Westmount priest told her last summer the church had heard sexual assault rumours.

READ MORE: 3 El Salvadorean priests found guilty of sex abuse at Vatican trial

Global News contacted Montreal’s Catholic Archdiocese, which promised a statement on Boucher will come soon.

In 2014, Boucher abruptly left the church, without finishing his mandate, to head to Washington for theological studies.

Global News has learned Boucher is now living in a Catholic monastery in Montreal’s east end.

READ MORE: 4 more men come forward; Alberta priest faces additional sex assault charges

The church’s Mother Superior, who cannot be named, said Montreal’s archdiocese contacted her two months ago and asked her to look into a priest having some problems.

She said she didn’t ask any questions.

Boucher is now out on bail and must stay at least 200 metres away from areas where children under the age of 18 may be.

He will next appear in court April 21.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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