Montreal archdiocese hires retired judge to conduct independent probe of priest

Pepita G. Capriolo will conduct the independent investigation into Rev. Brian​​​​​​​ Boucher, a priest who was sentenced in March to eight years behind bars.

Rev. Brian​​​​​​​ Boucher is the subject of an independent investigation

Rev. Brian Boucher, seen here at the Montreal courthouse, was sentenced to eight years in prison last March. (CBC News)

​Montreal's archdiocese has hired a former Quebec Superior Court justice to investigate the case of a priest found guilty of sexually abusing two boys.

Pepita G. Capriolo will conduct an independent investigation into Rev. Brian Boucher, a priest who was sentenced in March to eight years behind bars.

Now that Boucher's criminal case is over, the archdiocese says it wants to get to the bottom of how the complaints and concerns about Boucher were handled.

"We don't want this to ever happen again," Montreal Archbishop Christian Lepine told CBC.

Boucher worked in 10 Montreal-area churches between 1985 and 2015.

The abuse took place at two churches, between 1995 and 1999 in the case of one victim, and between 2008 and 2011 in the other.

Lepine acknowledged there had been concerns and complaints about Boucher, and said he hopes Capriolo will get to the bottom of when they were submitted and what follow-up there was. 

As part of the probe, Capriolo will have full access to any files on Boucher held by the Church.

Lepine added that the results of the six-month investigation will be made public and it will include recommendations to improve procedures.

The archdiocese still plans a broader audit of its archives, looking into other priests who may have abused children.  

The diocese is still looking to replace the judge who will conduct that audit, after the retired judge appointed to do so in March died this summer.

With files from CBC's Leah Hendry and The Canadian Press