Sexual Assault Class Action Authorized Against Diocese of Amos
The bishopric of Amos. (File photo)
The Superior Court authorizes a class action against the Diocese of Amos for sexual assaults committed from 1940 to today' ;today.
The request for authorization to institute a class action was heard on July 22, 2022 at the Amos courthouse. Judge Nancy Bonsaint rendered her decision on March 15, rejecting the challenges of the diocese. According to her, the facts alleged by the plaintiff could have occurred, which is sufficient to authorize the class action.
The plaintiff and representative in this case, whose identity is protected by the court, is a 65-year-old man who was allegedly sexually assaulted in Val-d'Or by Father Paul-Émile Bilodeau when he was between 7 and 11 years old, from 1963 to 1967. He then attended Notre-Dame-de-Fatima school. He was allegedly assaulted again by Father Bilodeau a few years later, while serving mass at the church of the same name.
The civil suit alleges that a time the plaintiff's father denounced Father Bilodeau to the bishop at the time, the religious was sent to Chibougamau.
“We are seeking the responsibility of the diocese for not having acted so that the attacks cease or for not having put in place measures so that the attacks do not take place. »
— Me Justin Wee, of Arsenault Dufresne Wee, lawyers, representing the plaintiff
The plaintiff seeks $600,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.
The application for authorization to institute a class action was filed on December 7, 2021. To date, 35 alleged victims have registered for the class action, which targets a total of 16 priests.
In addition to Father Bilodeau, there are the names of Réal Couture, Armand Roy, Lucien Côté, Hubert Fortier, Henri-Paul Ratté, Laval Tremblay, Marc-Aurèle Guillemette, Odilon Boutin, Adolphe Delisle, Henry Dobbelsteyn , Jules Larose, Philippe Plourde, André Leith, Ernest Roy and Joseph Tétreault.
Marc-Aurèle Guillemette has already been convicted in the past for crimes of a sexual nature.
Although a trial is now authorized, both parties have agreed to negotiate in order to find an amicable common ground. Mr. Wee says there is still time to register with his firm. This process is free and confidential.
All victims who have been abused on the territory of the Diocese of Amos can register for our recourse. The diocese agreed to negotiate with us, with the victims. One of the most important data in a negotiation of this kind is to know how many victims it may concern, hence the importance for those who want to denounce what happened to them to do so now, indicates Me Wee, who specifies that the fact of registering does not necessarily imply having to testify in court.