Ottawa priest convicted of indecent assault gets 1 year house arrest
Joanne Schnurr, CTV Ottawa
Published Thursday, February 16, 2017 5:48PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 16, 2017 6:30PM EST
A disgraced Ottawa priest will spend the next 12 months under house arrest for molesting altar boys in the 60's and 70's. 80-year-old Jacques Faucher walked out of court today with his victims still looking for justice. Faucher was found guilty nearly a year ago for historical crimes against these boys. They say Faucher's sentence simply doesn't match the degree of pain they've experienced over the years.
Faucher left the Ottawa courthouse bound for his home in Gatineau where he will spend the next 12 months under house arrest, a scenario his victims couldn’t believe. Their names are protected under a publication ban.
“He should just have had jail time,” one man said, “case closed.”
“I know he's going to be at home and (will be under) a lot of restrictions,” said another man, “but he's still home, he still gets to sleep in his own bed, gets to listen to music, there’s no real change in his life.”
The men had come to court looking for justice in their case against Faucher who was convicted last March of six counts of indecent assault and gross indecency involving 3 of 5 boys, now men, who testified against him.
Faucher had been their priest at the former parish of Notre Dames des Anges in Ottawa’s west end. They were young, most of them altar boys between 7 and 13 years old when Faucher invited them into his church office to sit on his lap where he indecently assaulted them.
“We're just now 40 years later starting to heal,” said one of his victims outside the Elgin Street Courhouse, “Today is a negative impact on our healing process absolutely.”
Justice Pierre Roger said part of his decision in handing down a sentence of house arrest was based on a report from psychiatrist who said Faucher no longer had any sexual interest nor posed a threat to commit similar crimes. But his victims questioned that based on Faucher’s arrest last month at a pool in Aylmer. Police say he had visited the kids’ section of the pool nearly one hundred times between November of 2015 and December of 2016, which constituted a breach of his conditions.
“He already had restrictions not to be there and there he is and he's going to do it again,” said one of the victims.
But Justice Roger said given the less than grievous nature of theses offences and the fact Faucher seemed repentant, a year’s house arrest followed by 18 months’ probation was adequate punishment.
Faucher has several conditions to follow, including staying away pools and parks where children under 16 years of age may be. The church has also suspended him from the ministry.