Police look for other alleged victims as P.E.I. priest charged with sex crimes

CTV Television Network [Toronto, Canada]

November 2, 2022

By Alex MacIsaac

Retired Roman Catholic priest Maurice Praught, 69, is facing multiple sexual assault charges stemming from alleged incidents on P.E.I. in the 1990s.

On May 17, 2022, police were told about several incidents of alleged sexual assaults against a minor involving a 69-year-old man, which are alleged to have occurred between 1990 and 2010 in Summerside P.E.I., according to the RCMP.

When Summerside Police Services started investigating, it learned offences had also allegedly happened in other areas of the Island, according to a news release from the force.

Summerside Police Services and the RCMP started a joint investigation into the allegations on May 20.

Ten days later, the Diocese of Charlottetown, which covers the Island, announced Praught would retire from active ministry.

On Monday, police arrested a 69-year-old man in Stratford, P.E.I., in connection with the investigation, says RCMP.

On Tuesday, six counts of sexual exploitation and four counts of sexual assault were laid against Praught in Charlottetown provincial court.

Police say all charges are in relation to a single alleged victim, who was 14 when the assaults allegedly began.

“This is an active investigation, and we are working diligently to understand if there were other victims,” says Const. Gavin Moore with the PEI RCMP, in a news release.

“We want people to know that a sexual assault complaint can be made at any time, and there is no statute of limitations as to how far back the assault happened. If you are a victim of sexual misconduct, please contact us. You will be listened to, and you will be believed.”

Praught has been released from custody and is set to appear in court on Dec. 21 at 9:30 a.m.