Class Action Request Alleges Sexual Assaults by Priests in Abitibi Region

The application names the diocese and bishop of Amos at the time of the assaults and covers the period from 1940 to the present.

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The Diocese of Amos in the Abitibi region of Quebec is the subject of a class action lawsuit petition alleging that at least five priests committed sexual assaults against so many children between the ages of 7 and 14.

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The application, filed Tuesday in Abitibi High Court, names the diocese and bishop of Amos at the time of the attacks as institutions and covers the period from 1940 to the present.

The representative plaintiff, now 65 years old and unable to be identified, alleges that he was sexually assaulted when he was 7 and 11 years old.

The request, made through the Montreal law office of Arsenault Dufresne Wee, alleges that Father Paul-Émile Bilodeau, a teacher at the Notre-Dame-de-Fatima school in Val-d’Or, sexually assaulted the plaintiff in a small room in the school in 1963 and 1967.

The class action lawsuit contends that at least four other people were sexually assaulted by as many priests in the Diocese of Alma. Those victims were between the ages of 10 and 14, according to the application.

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The request contends that the diocese and Aldée Desmarais, bishop of Amos at the time, refused to investigate the allegations to maintain a “culture of silence” and that, by doing so, “the accused perpetuated the risk that Father Bilodeau commit other sexual assault acts. “

The representative plaintiff maintains that due to this abuse, he repeatedly attempted suicide between 1977 and 2005 and suffered from psychological problems.

He seeks $ 300,000 in non-monetary damages, $ 150,000 in monetary damages, and, given the severity and duration of the alleged assaults, $ 150,000 in punitive damages.

The Law Firm of Arsenault Dufresne Wee Attorneys he is urging those who want to sign up for the class action lawsuit to contact them.

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