Class action lawsuit authorized against Trois-Rivieres Diocese for alleged sexual assaults

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A Quebec Superior Court judge has authorized a class action lawsuit against the Trois-Rivières Diocese for alleged sexual assaults from 1940 to the present day.

Lawyers with Arsenault Dufresne Wee Avocats presented arguments on June 15 at the Trois-Rivières courthouse and published a news release Monday saying the diocese did not oppose the class action.

Dominic Maurais is slated to represent victims who "have been sexually assaulted by a member of the diocesan clergy (bishop, deacon), by a religious person, a member of the lay pastoral staff, an employee or a lay or religious volunteer under the responsibility of the Catholic Bishopric of Trois-Rivières," the release reads.

The Trois-Rivières Diocese covers a large area in Quebec's Mauricie region.

The release reads all alleged crimes will need to be proven in court unless an out-of-court settlement is reached.

More than 25 victims have contacted the law firm with their accusations.

The law firm is also launching class actions for assaults at the congrégation de Sainte-Croix and Saint-Joseph Oratory, the Oblats de Marie Immaculée, the Brothers of Saint-Gabriel, Saint-Vincent de Paul and other religious institutions.

The firm says there are more than 1,400 victims who have come forward.

Those wanting to contact the law firm can call 514-527-8903 or email actioncollective@adavocats.com