Former Coquitlam parish priest accused of sexual abuse

Father Georges Chevrier, parish priest from 1971 to 1977, died

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A woman who claims she was groomed and sexually abused as a child in the mid-1970s while attending Our Lady of Fatima Church in Coquitlam is suing a number of Catholic Church entities.

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Identified in her notice of civil suit as LV, the plaintiff seeks damages in a civil suit brought before the Supreme Court of British Columbia against the estate of the late father Georges Chevrier.

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The Archdiocese of Vancouver and several other institutions associated with Chevrier’s labor history are also named as defendants.

LV’s lawsuit asserts that she had the inherent right to live out her childhood and youth “unaffected by the unhealthy, dangerous, and immoral interference and public nuisance of the predatory and systematic sexual abuse of the Roman Catholic clergy.”

Chevrier was pastor of the Coquitlam church from 1971 to 1977. He died in 2003.

LV alleges that between 1973 and 1977, beginning at the age of nine, she was sexually abused and beaten numerous times by Chevrier on church and school grounds.

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Sexual allegations in court documents include various forms of physical and sexual assault ranging from groping to intercourse.

In one instance, two other men, whom LV believed to be priests, observed and participated, according to the claim.

LV has a congenital disability, and the civil suit states that Chevrier “willfully targeted and exploited plaintiff’s pre-existing vulnerabilities resulting from her problems at home, pre-existing abuse, condition, overt kindness, smiles, ‘acceptance, love and guidance’.

Chevrier’s grooming included pulling her out of catechism classes to make her feel “special” and threatening her family if she told anyone about the abuse, according to the civil complaint.

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LV alleges that in 2008 she spoke to the Archdiocese about the abuse. She says she was offered token compensation, but was not told that Chevrier had a history of sexual abuse allegations, according to the complaint.

The claim indicates that LV did not learn Chevrier’s story until later.

Lawsuits were filed in Saskatoon in 1999 and Regina in 2004 citing Chevrier and several other school staff as attackers.

The archdiocese’s failure to acknowledge the historic allegations against Chevrier resulted in further damages, according to LV’s lawsuit.

Chevrier was a member of the Order of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI), and the suit names several corporate bodies associated with the religious order, as well as several other Canadian archdioceses and parishes where he worked.

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Chevrier served as acting principal of St. Michael’s Indian Residential School between 1950 and 1954 in Duck Lake, Saskatchewan, and was subsequently the subject of numerous allegations of sexual abuse by former students, according to the LV lawsuit. .

Her lawsuit claims that the institutional defendants “knew or should have known” of the sexual abuse allegations against Chevrier and were negligent in failing to protect her.

The lawsuit accuses the institutional defendants of continuing to participate in historic “systemic abuse” by covering up child sexual abuse by its clergy, allowing “pedophile rings to form.”

“The institutional defendants, collectively and individually, were complicit in a culture of entrenched clericalism, secrecy, and distorted beliefs that fostered clergy psychosexual immaturity,” the complaint states.

None of the charges against him have been proven in court. No response has been filed.

Patrick Penner is a reporter for the Tri-Cities Dispatch

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