Priest Guilty of Two Sexual Assaults

Hamilton Spectator
January 26, 2012

ARRIVING AT COURT Former Catholic priest James Boudreau arrives Wednesday afternoon at Guelph's Ontario Court of Justice.

GUELPH Former Hamilton Catholic priest James Boudreau has pleaded guilty to sexual assault.

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

He will be sentenced April 13.

Court was told Boudreau, now retired, took advantage of a young man’s friendship and another’s interest in the clergy when he sexually assaulted the two in the 1980s.

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.

He is the former pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption Roman Catholic Church in Stoney Creek

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 circumcised. 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 return for sentencing on April 13. The Crown also expects to submit victim impact statements at the time.

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

Monsignor Vincent Kerr, Chancellor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hamilton said after Boudreau was arrested by police in Guelph Jan. 12, 2011, a letter was sent to all the affected parishes. Kerr also made it clear to police that the diocese would help with anything required

Kerr said at the time that Boudreau had a clean record and described hime as “an extrovert” with a “certain style” and “effusive personality.”

In 1978, Boudreau was ordained in the United States into the Barnabite Catholic order, Kerr said.

He began his career the same year at St. John the Baptist in Guelph as an associate pastor. He remained there until 1985, when he was sent to St. James Roman Catholic Church in Oakville, where he stayed until 1989.

From 1989 to 1996, Boudreau worked at Our Lady of the Assumption Roman Catholic Church in Stoney Creek, where he became a full pastor.

He was a pastor at St. Gabriel Roman Catholic Church in Burlington from 1996 to 2002, St. John’s Catholic Church in Kitchener from 2002 to 2009 and, finally, at Canadian Martyrs Roman Catholic Church in Hamilton in 2009.

He retired in December that year and was living in Hamilton

With files from The Hamilton Spectator








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