UPDATE / MAY 2, 2017: Ottawa priest found not guilty of sexually assaulting teen boy
An Ottawa priest has been released on bail after being charged with sexually assaulting a teenage boy inside a west end Catholic church in 2008.
Stephen Amesse, 56, was charged with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of sexual interference involving a child under 16.
Amesse was suspended from all ministry and his position as pastor at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Fallowfield after he was charged on Thursday, according to his archdiocese.
Ottawa police believe there could be other victims. None of the allegations has been proven in court.
Amesse was well-known in Stittsville’s Catholic community. He had a nine-year tenure at Holy Spirit Catholic Church before his departure in 2009, and has been involved with Sacred Heart High School.
Reaction to the report has been mostly shock and disbelief. Here’s some of the reaction from Facebook and Twitter. Many appear to come from students so we’re keeping the identity of the posters anonymous.
- “Just because someone said father Steve did this and he got charged doesn’t mean he actually did it… he’s a dope guy regardless.”
- “Father Steve was charged, he is not yet convicted. Stop jumping to conclusions.”
- “Father Steve man literally what’s your buzz… Thought you were the man, that’s messed.”
- “Literally talked to father Steve 2 weeks ago…. Last thing I’d EVER expect.”
- “Father Steve made mass bearable in elementary school… I’m so shocked.”
- “Lets see how justice prevails….i just find it hard to believe knowing him personally for many years”
- “He baptized me and my son and married my husband and I. In all my interactions with him he’s always seemed to be such a wonderful Christian man. It’s so hard to believe.”
- “Father Steve was such a great priest in the community. I am shocked to hear this.”
- “Woooooah Father Steve charged. NOOOOOO I thought he was an exception to the stereotype.”
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