Montreal Priest Brian Boucher was found guilty of sexual assault


Father Brian Boucher, left, comes to court in Montreal on Tuesday with lawyer James Cocciardi.

Brian Boucher, left, comes to court in Montreal on Tuesday with lawyer James Cocciardi.

Pierre Obendrauf / Montreal Gazette

For almost an hour, Father Brian Boucher sat in the top row of the Montreal courtroom on Tuesday, dragged his hands and silently knocked his feet as he waited for the judge to finish reading her decision.

Finally, Judge Quebec Patricia Compagnone is unambiguous: the version of Boucher's event did not have credibility and reality, while the story of the victim was plausible, fair and convincing.

"The court considers that (Witness testimony) is a testimony and believes it is reliable," said Compagnone. "Therefore, the court is convinced that there is no reasonable doubt about any sexual assault."

For this reason, 56-year-old Boucher was found guilty of three threats he faced: sexual assault, sexual intercourse and sexual intercourse.

By the end of March, he will remain in custody when prosecutor Annabelle Sheppard says he intends to defend a "substantial" imprisonment sentence.

During a November trial of the victims whose identity is covered by the ban on publication, Boucher began to abuse him at the age of 12 when he served as a pastor in the Church of Our Lady of Mary's Annunciation in Mount Royal.

He said that the abuse continued for three years, between 2008 and 2011, and took place in the Boucher bedroom at the church parish. Often, it included oral sex and increased three times for anal penetration, he said.

Boucher, who was relieved of church duties in 2015, has repeatedly denied all accusations during his trial.

He claimed that the victim, an altar who later volunteered and worked for the parish, invented his demands for revenge, as Boucher once informed the boys of his parents that he was dealing with "immoral acts" with his girlfriend in the church.

On Tuesday, Compagnone ruled that Boucher "does not tell the whole truth" and that his testimony meant "telling a story in order to challenge (the victim) a testimony."

The judge said that she was "confused" with the defense argument that the victim did not give enough precise information on the attacks and that there were too many people around the church in order to make them happen.

"Does the court really have to reiterate that sexual assaults are almost always carried out in secret behind closed doors?" She asked.

Boucher worked in churches in Montreal, LaSalle, Dorval, Mount Royal and Senneville. He also acted as a chaplain at McGill University.

This month is scheduled for a separate trial, in which two men report similar abuses.

The testimony of one of the men who is now in the 30's was taken as a "similar fact" at the November trial, which supported the prosecution and contested the defense's claim that the victim had made his complaint.

This man was said to have been abused between 1995 and 1999, when Boucher was a priest at the St-John-Br├ębeuf Church in LaSalle.

He said that family members asked Boucher to take him under his wing while his father was in prison, and the priest became a mentor. He said that Boucher would touch him in his car and take him to the motels where the abuse got worse.

Boucher denied the accusations.

In his assessment, Compagnone said that he suggested that both people somehow made up similar stories, so long-standing apart and without meeting, she asked her to "believe in incredible" and "very unbelievable."

After the decision, Sheppard said that the crown was satisfied with how the judge "apparently condemned the wrongdoing done by" Boucher, and named him to win the victim.

"He can never annul the years of abuse; even a positive decision will not change because she has been sexually abused for years, "said Sheppard, adding that the victim can not easily get to her.

"But when the purpose is to take somebody for responsibility and to ensure that we can no longer do it to someone else, I think this is a relief and something that will help him in the process of healing."

Defense lawyer James Cocciardi said he would review the decision.

The Montreal Archdiocese, which Sheppard found to have fully cooperated with the investigation, issued a statement following a judgment.

"The verdict provokes for various reasons the emotions of both parishioners in the rankings and leadership of the Church, including bishops and priests: feelings of shame, resentment and anger, and confusion, sadness and compassion," he said.

"Archbishop acknowledges the courage of those who met with the diocesan authorities to report what they experienced, which led to legal proceedings," he added.

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