Police in Calgary have arrested a Catholic priest who is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a church more than six years ago.
Investigators say the woman told them last October about assaults at St. Mark Roman Catholic Church in the city’s northeast between September and October 2012.
The alleged victim, an adult woman, reported being sexually touched without consent on several occasions by a priest at the church.
Malcolm Joe D’Souza, who is 62, was taken into custody on Friday and charged with one count of sexual assault.
He is to make his next court appearance on Feb. 21.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary says it is co-operating fully with police.
“The Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary has been informed by the Calgary Police Service sex crimes unit that Fr. Malcolm D’Souza has been charged with sexual assault in response to historic allegations,” said an emailed statement Tuesday.
“In October 2018, Bishop (William) McGrattan placed Fr. D’Souza on administrative leave and prohibited him from exercising any priestly ministry.”
The diocese said it won’t provide further details since the matter is now a legal one, but it encourages anyone with “relevant information” to contact the police.
Calgary police say that, in general, sexual assaults should be reported regardless of when they occurred because there is no time limit on how long a victim has to come forward.
Police can investigate an incident decades after it occurred.
Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press