Anglican Diocese of Brandon sued over allegations of sexual assault by priest

A Winnipeg man is suing a diocese of the Anglican Church of Canada after allegations of sexual assault and abuse were bought forwards decades after they were said to have occurred.

Claim says alleged victim of assault decades ago still suffers severe physical and emotional pain

A 53-year-old man has filed a statement of claim against the Anglican Church of Canada's Diocese of Brandon, seeking damages for alleged sexual assaults dating back several decades. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

A Winnipeg man is suing a diocese of the Anglican Church of Canada after allegations of sexual assault and abuse were bought forward decades after they were said to have occurred. 

In a statement of claim filed in Brandon Court of Queen's Bench, the man says he still suffers severe physical and emotional pain, alcohol and substance abuse, PTSD and other effects following incidents he says occurred both in a church in The Pas, Man. and at the priest's residence on church property in the town, approximately 500 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg

He is suing the Diocese of Brandon, which employed the priest named in the claim, for damages.

The priest is believed to now be dead, the bishop of the diocese said.

The claim states the priest performed oral-genital intercourse on the plaintiff, who was under 10 years old at the time, attempted anal intercourse and masturbated him in the priest's residence. Similar acts were performed in the church basement in another incident, the claim says.

"The defendant placed [the priest] in a position of authority over youths and children, including the Plaintiff, attending the church ministry," the claim reads, adding the church's youth ministry was within the scope of the priest's employment.

The specific church the alleged assaults took place at wasn't named in the claim. No statement of defence has been filed, and the allegations have not been proven in court.

Plaintiff claims depression, anxiety 

The plaintiff is now 53 years old, meaning the alleged assaults would have taken place in the late 1960s or early 1970s. He is currently unemployed and suffers depression, fear and anxiety, hypervigilance, panic and anxiety, as well as loss of opportunities for employment, according to the claim.

He is seeking damages and compensation for medication, therapy, counseling and other treatments.

Rt. Rev. William Cliff, the Bishop for the Diocese of Brandon told CBC News the diocese hadn't yet been served with the claim and could not comment. Cliff said the priest named in the claim is presumed to be dead. 

The claim comes just months after convicted Winnipeg sex offender Father Ron Léger was arrested in October on eight new charges involving four men. 

He was previously handed a two-year sentence for sexual offences against three males.