An Ottawa priest has been released on bail after being charged with sexually assaulting a teenage boy inside a west end Catholic church in 2008.
Investigators received a complaint in February 2014. The boy was 14 at the time of the alleged assault, police said in a media release issued Thursday.
Stephen Amesse, 56, was charged with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of sexual interference involving a child under 16.
He made a brief appearance in court Thursday via video link. Amesse was dressed in lay clothes, slacks and a bulky sweater, and he looked down at the floor several times.
Amesse suspended from ministry, will live at retirement home for priests
The Crown agreed to Amesse being released on a $5,000 bond with conditions that he not contact the victim or be in contact with any boys or girls under the age of 16.
He will live at a retirement home for priests in Ottawa.
His next court appearance is set for Jan. 12, 2015.
Amesse was suspended from all ministry and his position as pastor at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Fallowfield after he was charged on Thursday, according to his archdiocese.
'These are painful moments,' archdiocese says
"These are painful moments in the life of a faith community. May the parishioners know the spiritual support of our entire Catholic community," the Archdiocese of Ottawa said in an emailed statement.
Amesse had a nine-year tenure at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Stittsville before his departure in 2009. He has also been involved with schools in the community, including Sacred Heart High School.
Ottawa police believe there could be other victims. None of the allegations has been proven in court.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Ottawa police sexual assault and child abuse unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5944, or anonymously via Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.