Preliminary Inquiry Starts for Priest Charged with Sexual Abuse: North Bay, Ontario

by John McKiggan

A preliminary inquiry has started for Bernard Cloutier, a Roman Catholic priest charged with sexually assaulting several young boys over a decade at various parishes in Northern Ontario.

It is alleged the incidents involving Bernard Cloutier began in 1974 and continued until April 1983. He has pleaded not guilty to the 22 charges he is facing.

The preliminary inquiry will determine if there is sufficient evidence for the charges to proceed to trial.

The North Bay Nugget reported:

Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe, the spiritual head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie, said Cloutier, like other priests facing or convicted of charges of sexual misconduct in the diocese, is now only allowed to say mass privately.

I first posted about the charges against Cloutier almost a year ago.

You can read more here and here.

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