Monday, February 27, 2012

Newfoundland priest faces 24 new sexual abuse charges

A Roman Catholic priest who worked in Newfoundland and Labrador for many years is facing 24 new sexual abuse charges, bringing the total number of charges against him to 62.

George Ansel Smith was in court Thursday afternoon in Corner Brook.

Smith, who worked in parishes from Newfoundland's southwest coast to the tip of the Northern Peninsula, was charged in December after a lengthy investigation by the RCMP.

It's alleged there are nine victims from six communities in western Newfoundland.

Smith consented to be held in custody after he appeared in court Thursday.

Smith was working at St. Malachy's Church in Kinkora, P.E.I., when he was removed from his duties in 2010 after a complaint about an incident alleged to have occurred when he worked in western Newfoundland.

The complainant alleged there was an incident of sexual touching that occurred on church property in Deer Lake, N.L., where Smith was a parish priest between 1986 and 1991.