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Hearst priest facing more charges in historic sexual assault investigation

11-07-18 OPP Stock
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A Hearst priest is facing additional charges in an historic sexual assault investigation.

In February, 80-year-old Fernand Villeneuve was charged with nine sexual assault-related offences from alleged incidents that happened from 1985 to the early '90s.

James Bay OPP announced three new charges against Villeneuve. 

According to police, they started a new historic sexual assault investigation on Feb. 26, which is when the first charges were made public. The incidents allegedly happened in Hearst between 1976 and 1985.

The new charges are sexual assault, act of gross indecency, and indecent assault on a female. He is scheduled to appear in court in Hearst in June.

Villeneuve was a parish priest at Notre Dame de L'Assomption Cathedral in Hearst and had been with the diocese for more than 50 years. He was removed from Ministry Feb. 25.

OPP believes there could be more victims. Police are asking people who have been a victim of sexual assault by the individual to contact the James Bay OPP criminal investigations unit at 1-888-310-1122 or your nearest police authority.