Sexual assault allegations: targeted priest remains suspended

Sexual assault allegations: Priest targeted remains suspended

UPDATE DAY

The second priest of the Diocese of Quebec identified in a class action by an intern, who alleges that he was also sexually assaulted by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, will remain suspended from his duties until the end of the proceedings.

In his statement, the alleged victim identifies a second priest, Father Léopold Manirabarusha, who was the subject of a complaint on his part in January 2022 with the Diocese of Quebec. The priest has been suspended since April 2022.

“ I can confirm that, in accordance with the procedure in force, Father Léopold is suspended from his duties. Of course, this is not an admission of presumed guilt. We are going to wait for the court's decision for this, but we have removed him from the ministry,” said René Tessier, communication officer at the diocese. 

In the court document, the employee of the diocese, who is designated by the letter F. to protect her identity, claims to have been psychologically, sexually and spiritually manipulated by Father Léopold Manirabarusha between 2016 and 2018, while working at the Church of La-Transfiguration-du-Seigneur parish, including the churches of Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures and Cap-Rouge. 

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In the originating application filed on Tuesday, she describes that the abbot in question was very attentive to her needs and that meetings were taking place increasingly late at night.

“One day , Father Léopold Manirabarusha takes her to his library and makes her understand that he expects her to perform oral sex on him. F. feels compelled to meet his demands, she sees no way out. Subsequently, Father Léopold Manirabarusha will impose other sexual contacts on F. who does not know how to get out of this situation “, it is written. 

According to his allegations, the sexual assaults take place on fifteen occasions in the presbytery of Saint-Augustin and Cap-Rouge and twice at the hotel, “always very quickly and in secret”. The last sexual assault allegedly took place in the spring of 2018.  

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