The Archdiocese of Montreal will pay at least 14.7 million to victims of sexual abuse

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The Archdiocese of Montreal will pay at least 14.7 million to victims of sexual abuse

Olivier Zuida Le Devoir According to a survey carried out in recent years, 87 priests of Archdiocese of Montreal committed child sexual abuse from 1940 to 2021.

A settlement agreement has been reached with the Archdiocese of Montreal to pay at least $14.7 million to victims of sexual abuse committed by diocesan members and lay employees of the institution, the law firm Arsenault Dufresne Wee, which represents the victims, announced on Thursday.

This agreement, which will have to be approved by the Superior Court in the coming weeks, does not include sexual assaults committed by priests who have worked in the Archdiocese of Montreal, but who are part of a religious order. About twenty congregations and religious orders in Quebec are already targeted by class actions.

In the specific case of the Archdiocese of Montreal, some sixty victims are listed in the class action filed on April 3, 2019. The parties to the case had begun discussions to reach a settlement from the start of the legal process.< /p>

The victim, who acts as a representative for this class action, is a man in his thirties who claims to have been sexually assaulted from 1995 to 1999 by Father Brian Boucher, sentenced to eight years in prison in 2019 for sexual assaults committed on two minors.

In the wake of the charges filed at the time against Brian Boucher, the Archdiocese of Montreal had appointed the former judge of the Superior Court of Quebec, Pepita G. Capriolo, to investigate “who knew what and when” about the behaviors of the cleric. A devastating report, which lifted the veil on the culture of secrecy and impunity that reigned within the Catholic Church, had resulted from it.

According to a statistical portrait carried out in recent years by the Superior Court Justice André Denis at the request of the Archdiocese of Montreal, 87 of his priests committed sexual assaults on children from 1940 to 2021.