MONTREAL -- A former Montreal police officer, who was also a minor hockey coach, has been arrested for alleged sexual offences towards young boys between the ages of nine and 16 years old.

François (Frank) Lamarre was arrested Tuesday by police in Longueuil on Montreal's South Shore and faces charges of gross indecency, indecent exposure, sexual assault, sexual touching and invitation to sexual touching involving four alleged victims.

Lamarre, 71, was a Greenfield Park Minor Hockey coach in the 1970s and 1980s. The assaults allegedly took place between 1972 and 1997 when he was between the ages of 24 and 49. He has allegedly lived in Greenfield Park for some 50 years.

"I'm very, very devastated. Very sad news. I knew a lot of kids on the hockey team. My son was a part of the team that he coached," one mother told CTV News.

"He saw the news with me this morning and he got a call from one of his friends this morning saying, 'have you seen the news?'"

François (Frank) Lamarre

The offences allegedly occurred at arenas, at his home in the south shore neighbourhood of Greenfield Park and in his vehicle. Some were youth involved in hockey, while other alleged victims lived in Lamarre's neighbourhood. Police say he lived in homes on Springfield and Campbell streets.

Longueuil police spokesperson Patrick Barrière notes Lamarre's status as a police officer was known to the boys, but none of the infractions are alleged to have occurred while he was on duty.

Longueuil police notes that Lamarre often changed vehicles and investigators are aware he drove Ford and Cadillac cars at the time.

Lamarre has been released with several conditions pending trial. He is not allowed to speak to potential victims or children under the age of 18 and he cannot go near parks, arenas, community centres or schools.

Police say they have already spoken to four alleged victims and are looking for others. They believe possible victims could now be in other parts of Canada or the United States.

“It is possible that Lamarre has unlawfully sexually assaulted several other victims at different times and in other circumstances,” Longueuil police stated.

The 71-year-old is scheduled to appear at the Longueuil courthouse on Dec. 19.

Anyone with information is asked to call 450 463-7211. All calls are confidential.

François (Frank) Lamarre