Calgary Catholic Priest Charged with Sexual Assault

Mridu Walia - Mechanical
Posted on: January 23, 2019

Allegations have surfaced against a Catholic priest working at St. Mark’s Roman Catholic Church in Marlborough, a residential neighbourhood in the city of Calgary, Alberta. The priest, Malcolm Joe D’Souza (age 62) is being accused of sexually assaulting a woman on several occasions in the church about six years ago between September and October 2012.

The victim, an adult woman, reported being sexually touched without consent on several occasions by a priest at the church. Following these allegations, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary also received allegations involving two minors and several adults who were allegedly sexually assaulted by the priest between the years 2010 and 2016, when he was assigned as a pastor at St. Mark’s.

The diocese released an official statement on Saturday, October 27 at 5 PM (MDT) stating, “Bishop McGrattan has removed Fr. Malcolm D’Souza from St. Bernard’s and Assumption parishes and placed him on administrative leave. Fr. D’Souza is currently prohibited from exercising priestly ministry in the Diocese of Calgary”. Fr. D’ Souza was put on administrative leave by the diocese last fall and was arrested on Friday, 11 January 2019. He is next scheduled to appear in court on Thursday, February 21, 2019.

Even though the allegations against the priest by the alleged victim include multiple inappropriate incidents, he has been charged with only one count of sexual assault based on current evidence. However, police investigations are ongoing and therefore there lies the possibility of additional victims coming forward. The diocese is fully cooperating with the police investigations but refuses to provide further details till the investigations are completed. They are also encouraging people with “relevant information” to come forth and contact the police, regardless of when the assault occurred.

Staff Sgt. Bruce Walker with the Calgary Police Service sex crimes unit says investigators have seen an increase in complaints about historic sexual assaults. Walker believes that the reason behind this is that the topic of sexual assault is becoming less of a “taboo”. He said, “It’s quite prevalent in any community” which is why people feel more comfortable talking about it with their friends and family. There is no time limit to how long the victim has to report a sexual assault and the police can investigate assaults dating back decades, therefore, he encouraged people and victims of sexual assault to contact the police by visiting a district office or contact the non-emergency line at 403-266-1234 and in case of immediate danger, call 911.

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