Retired Ontario Priest Pleads Guilty to 47 Sex Charges
CBC News [Canada]
August 3, 2006
A retired Roman Catholic priest on Thursday pleaded guilty in a court in Chatham, Ont., to 47 charges stemming from sexual assaults against young females between 1954 and 1990.
Wearing his collar, Charles Sylvestre, 83, of Belle River, Ont., stood in court and said guilty 47 times. The charges included indecent assault, sexual assault and sexual intercourse with a female under 14 years of age.
Many of Sylvestre's victims, some of whom were as young as nine years old when the assaults took place, attended the hearing in a packed courtroom. Victims wiped away tears and hugged each other as Sylvestre spoke.
The court began hearing victim impact statements after the retired priest finished pleading guilty to the charges.
All the incidents occurred in parishes throughout southwestern Ontario, including Windsor, London, Sarnia, Chatham-Kent and Pain Court.
Police started investigating in the spring of 2004 after one woman came forward.
Sylvestre was arrested in July 2005. He had been out on bail since his arrest.
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