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An ex-prê be sentenced to 5 years in prison at LÎ-P.-É.

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Former Catholic priest Maurice Joseph Praught, 70, appeared in court on December 5, 2023 in Charlottetown where he received a five-year prison sentence for sexual exploitation of a minor in the 1990s.

Radio- Canada

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Former Prince Edward Island Catholic priest Maurice Joseph Praught, who pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual exploitation of a boy, is sentenced to five years behind bars.

The 70-year-old man responded to the charges in court in Charlottetown on Tuesday morning. Other charges against him were dropped.

The Diocese of Charlottetown had reported the victim's allegations to authorities. Maurice Joseph Praught was arrested in 2022 following a joint investigation by Summerside police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

According to According to testimony, he met the victim, a boy aged 14 at the time, shortly after he became a priest in the early 1990s. The complainant's identity is protected by a court order.

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Father Maurice Praught during a mass celebrated in Charlottetown in May 2022.

The priest spent a lot of time alone with this boy. He took her to restaurants, to the movies, and sometimes on trips outside the province. It was during one of these trips that he gave the boy alcohol and made sexual gestures.

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Sexual exploitation continued for years, including after the 18th birthday of the young man.

The victim read a statement in court in which he explained that he had problems with excessive alcohol consumption and experienced mental health problems as an adult. He has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and has difficulty maintaining good relationships.

The Crown and defense recommended jointly sentenced to five years in prison.

According to the Crown, this recommendation takes into account the consequences on the victim and the community, as well as the breach of trust committed by the priest and the fact that the sexual exploitation took place over a long period of time.< /p>

According to the defense, the fact that Maurice Joseph Praught admitted his guilt proves that he feels remorse and that he wanted to prevent his victim from living again his trauma during a trial.

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The Diocese of Charlottetown issued an apology shortly after the conviction of Maurice Joseph Praught.

Judge Gregory Cann addressed the victim. I hope that one day, in one way or another, you will know that it is not your fault and that you will find peace in this way,” he said. he declared.

The judge also requires the ex-priest to have no contact with his victim. Additionally, Maurice Joseph Praught is listed on the National Sex Offender Registry for 10 years.

The Diocese of Charlottetown issued a written apology shortly after the judge handed down the sentence to Maurice Joseph Praught.

I sincerely apologize to the victim and his family for the abuse, pain and harm perpetrated by Father Praught, and I offer my most sincere apologies for the failures of the Church, says Bishop Joseph Dabrowski, quoted in this statement.

I promise to do everything in my power to maintain our protective vigilance for children and vulnerable adults and to provide compassion and raising awareness among victims who are survivors of abuse, he adds.

The bishop emphasizes that his diocese has a policy in this area since 1992.

Based on a report byBrittany Spencer andDevon Goodsell, ofCBC

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