Montreal priest takes the stand and denies allegations in sexual abuse trial

A Montreal Catholic priest accused of sexual assault took the stand in his own defence and testified for several hours on Thursday afternoon, denying allegations made against him.

Father Brian Boucher was arrested in March 2017 and is facing several charges of sexual assault and sexual touching. The trial, which is expected to last one week, started last Monday.

During his testimony, Boucher went through his history of becoming a priest and what eventually led him to Our Lady of the Annunciation Church in Town of Mount Royal.

He then spoke at length about his relationship with one of his accusers who was heavily involved in the church.

The young man, whose identity is protected under a publication ban, was a pre-teen at the time of the alleged assaults from 2008 to 2011. He testified earlier this week, alleging Boucher sexually abused him for years — including sexual touching and anal penetration.

Father Brian Boucher worked at Our Lady of the Annunciation Church in the Town of Mount Royal.

During his testimony, Boucher said he became close to the man’s family, often being invited for dinners.

Boucher also admitted he became close to the man, who is now in his 20s, but he said their relationship deteriorated after the man allegedly admitted to what Boucher described as “immoral acts” with a girl in the church itself.

Following that, Boucher said he was disappointed and felt he couldn’t trust the man again.

Boucher said the family encouraged him to take vacations with the man to Washington, Mexico and to Charlevoix to work on their relationship.

The priest said he was shocked when the man eventually accused him of sexual assault and he denies all allegations.

Boucher’s cross-examination will begin Friday morning.

— With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise

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