Priest begins serving sentence

Cornwall Standard Freeholder

Wednesday, October 18, 2006 – 10:00

Kevin Lajoie

Local News – A former Catholic priest who served in the Alexandria-Cornwall diocese until 1969 has started serving a one-year jail sentence after being found guilty of indecent assault and gross indecency two years ago.

Rev. Paul Lapierre, 77, was found guilty by a Quebec judge in June 2004 for indecently assaulting a 13-year-old male at a residence in Montreal in 1965.

Lapierre was sentenced to one year of incarceration in October 2004 and an appeal of the sentence by the priest’s lawyers was rejected by the Quebec Court of Appeals last month, leading to Lapierre’s incarceration.

Following the sentencing, Alexandria-Cornwall Bishop Paul-Andre Durocher revoked Lapierre’s diocesan faculties for ministry, including any faculty to preach or hear confessions.

Ironically, an Ontario judge found Lapierre not guilty in September 2001 of sex charges involving the same complainant as in the

Quebec charges. The charges in Quebec arose from the OPP Project Truth investigation, which was created in 1998 to investigate allegations prominent people in the Cornwall area sexually assaulted young people.

The news of Lapierre’s failed appeal and incarceration was made public through a press release issued by the diocese.

Durocher said the decision to issue a press relase on the matter is in line with his goal of maintaining transparency as much as possible.

“It’s the first time one of our priests goes to jail,” he said.
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