Young man testifies that he was abused by Montreal priest Brian Boucher for three years as a teen
A Catholic priest who worked at churches across Montreal is now on trial for the sexual assault of teenagers.
Brian Boucher, 57, is accused of committing the assaults over 20 years as he made his way through half a dozen churches throughout Montreal and its suburbs.
As the trial began on Monday, the first witness against him, now 23 years old, explained how after years of abuse, he went to police five years ago to file a complaint against Boucher.
The young man said he came from a devout Catholic family that worshipped at Our Lady of the Annunciation church in Town of Mount Royal. He said he had complete trust in the priest until the first time Boucher assaulted him.
According to the young man, he had recently entered high school and confessed to having lustful thoughts about a girl in school.
He testified that at age 12, the priest wanted to punish him because he didn't confess to dancing with a girl at a high school party – something he wasn't allowed to do.
He testified that Boucher ordered him to strip off his clothes and to submit to being touched sexually.
Because of the respect that his family had for the priest, the youth said he never told them anything, and continued to be sexually abused for three years.
At age 15 the boy began pushing back at the priest. Boucher allegedly got so angry that he followed the teen right into his parent's living room.
When he turned 18, the witness filed a complaint with police.
When police launched the investigation, other victims began to come forward.
Sitting in the front row of the courtroom Boucher caught the judge's eye as he visibly reacted to the testimony.
The judge ordered Boucher's lawyer to inform his client that the faces he was making were unacceptable and that Boucher should compose himself while hearing the witnesses testifying about sexual assault.
Boucher immediately did so.
Some parishioners came to court Monday and said they were shocked by what they heard.
“I never suspected this type of thing would be going on. I'm still in shock and disbelief,” said parishioner Sandra Trihey.
Boucher worked in Senneville, LaSalle, Dorval, Town of Mount Royal, and Montreal between 1985 and 2015.
Police investigated Boucher with the cooperation of the Montreal Archdiocese for nearly two years before he was arrested in March 2017.
The trial is expected to last one week. Boucher is free on bail as the trial goes on.
The Montreal archdiocese has stripped Boucher of all his responsibilities at least until the trial is over.