|Priest Being Investigated for Criminal Activity
October 14, 2010
The RCMP major crimes unit on the province's west coast is investigating reports of criminal behaviour by a Roman Catholic priest.
However, no charges have been laid against Father George Smith.
The RCMP said the criminal behaviour allegedly occurred years ago, but they did not specify the nature of the alleged crime.
"The RCMP are confirming a number of persons report that they were victimized, but will not be releasing any numbers of witnesses or potential victims," said a news release issued by RCMP Sgt. Boyd Merrill.
The investigation began this summer but progress has been slow because the people who need to be interviewed live all over Canada.
"This matter will be a long-term investigation given the historical base, the geography of the persons who can give information and other complexities involved in investigations such as this," said Merrill.
In early June, The Western Star reported that a St. Fintan's man claimed he was sexually abused by Smith between 1978 and 1980.
The man was an altar boy at St. Columcille Roman Catholic Church in St. Fintan's where Smith served as a priest for a number of years before being stationed in Deer Lake.
The man, who is now in his 40s, spoke to the newspaper on condition of anonymity.
In June, the RCMP in Deer Lake confirmed they had received another formal complaint alleging abuse by Smith.
In May, Smith was suspended from his duties in P.E.I. after the church received a complaint.
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