P.E.I. priest facing charges of sexual exploitation, sexual assault

Maurice Joseph Praught, 69, has been under investigation since May. (St Pius X Parish/Facebook - image credit)
Maurice Joseph Praught, 69, has been under investigation since May. (St Pius X Parish/Facebook - image credit)

A 69-year-old Roman Catholic priest was arrested Monday on P.E.I. in connection with the sexual exploitation and sexual assault of a boy in the 1990s.

Maurice Joseph Praught was released from custody pending a court date in December, according to Summerside police.

Police said the victim went to the Diocese of Charlottetown with information. The diocese informed Summerside police and they began investigating in May.

After learning offences were alleged to have been committed outside of the city, Summerside police brought in RCMP to assist in the investigation.

Wayne Thibodeau/CBC
Wayne Thibodeau/CBC

The incidents were all connected to a single victim, who was 14 years old at the time the assaults began, police said.

Father Chris Sherren, chancellor of the Diocese of Charlottetown, said the priest has been under internal investigation since earlier this year. He said the diocese has been co-operating with police throughout their investigation.

"When we got the information, we instigated our own internal procedures and investigation. So he was placed on what we call administrative leave, wasn't allowed to do public ministry pending the results of our investigation."