Former Guelph Catholic Priest Pleads Guilty to Two Historic Sexual Assaults

Guelph Mercury
January 25, 2012

GUELPH Former Catholic priest James Boudreau took advantage of a young man's friendship and another's interest in the clergy when he sexually assaulted the two in the 1980s, a city courtroom heard Wednesday.

The 68-year-old bald, heavy-set man, wearing silver-rimmed glasses stood beside his lawyer Roger Yachetti as he pleaded guilty to two sexual assaults in Guelph's provincial court.

Boudreau served as pastor at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, on Victoria Road North, from 1978 to 1985. He went on to work at six other Ontario churches, including Kitchener's St. John's Catholic Church.

One of the complainants was an active member of the St. John the Baptist parish in July 1984 and was a family friend of Boudreau when the sexual assault took place, said assistant Crown attorney Steve Hamilton.

Since the victim was about 12, the pair who celebrated the same birthday would get together to celebrate with a movie or dinner, Hamilton said. Just before the victim turned 18, they made plans to have dinner and see a movie.

Following dinner, Boudreau suggested they watch the movie at his home. Court heard both men drank about three to four beers, while they watched the movie and Boudreau began to discuss sex, showing the victim a book called The Joy of Sex.

Boudreau took the victim to another room and told him to lie on his back while he gave him a massage, Hamilton said. He suggested the victim remove his shirt and then told him to take off his pants. Boudreau stroked the victim's penis through his underwear and then went on to perform oral sex on him, court heard.

Boudreau then had the victim perform oral sex on him, Hamilton said.

"The complainant became distraught and began to cry," he said.

The victim left Boudreau's home on foot. Boudreau got into his vehicle and followed him, convincing him to get inside so he could take him home, court heard.

Guelph Police arrested Boudreau in January 2011 shortly after that victim reported the incident. News of Boudreau's arrest had the second victim step forward and file a sexual assault complaint against him, regarding an incident dating back to 1983.

Court heard the second victim was 15 in 1983 and sought Boudreau's advice on entering the priesthood. Boudreau invited the teenager to his home to discuss his interest further.

At his home, Hamilton said, Boudreau told the victim circumcision was a requirement of the clergy and asked whether he had been circumsized. The Crown said the accused asked the boy to remove his pants to check and he then took the boy's penis in his hands, when the teen expressed discomfort and told him he had been previously abused.

Court heard nothing further happened.

"You can appreciate these events were from 30 years ago ... but he accepts these facts," Yachetti told the court.

The defence lawyer said he would be seeking a conditional sentence on behalf of his client, when they returned for sentencing on April 13. The Crown also expects to submit victim impact statements at the time.

Yachetti declined comment Wednesday as he exited the courtroom Monday as did a friend of one of the victim's who was present.



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