Adult who accused Quebec cardinal of sexual misconduct breaks church abuse stereotype

Click to play video: 'Others come forward to allege sexual misconduct after lawsuit filed naming Cardinal Marc Ouellet'
Others come forward to allege sexual misconduct after lawsuit filed naming Cardinal Marc Ouellet
WATCH: A class action lawsuit approved this week by Quebec Superior Court has led other alleged victims to make a complaint against other members of the Catholic Church. The Ombudsman from the Montreal Archdiocese says she has several new cases to examine. As Gloria Henriquez reports, there are calls for the Vatican to act. – Aug 17, 2022

The woman who recently accused Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet of sexual misconduct has broken a stereotype about church abuse.

Université de Montréal religious studies professor Solange Lefebvre says the fact Ouellet’s alleged victim was an adult could open the door to more people coming forward with allegations against the church who aren’t children.

READ MORE: Canada’s Marc Ouellet came close to becoming pope, media reports say

Lefebvre says that while sex abuse of children within the Catholic Church is well-documented, these new high-profile allegations could also create opportunities for prosecutors and police to look for potential victims among young women involved with the church.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

A woman identified as “F.” in court documents tabled on Tuesday accused Ouellet of several incidents of sexual assault between 2008 and 2010, including sliding his hand down her back and touching her buttocks at an event in Quebec City.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet accused of sexual assault in class-action lawsuit

F. is among roughly 300 alleged victims who have made sex-abuse claims against the church in two class-action lawsuits brought by Montreal-based law firm Arsenault Dufresne Wee Avocats and authorized by a judge.

Lawyer Justin Wee says his firm’s class actions demonstrate that it’s not only young children — particularly young boys — who face sexual misconduct by clergy members but also adult women.

Sponsored content