Metro Vancouver priest arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting youth
Published Saturday, February 6, 2016 2:40PM PST
Last Updated Sunday, February 7, 2016 2:41PM PST
An Anglican priest has been arrested in Coquitlam, B.C. in connection to numerous sexual assaults that occurred in Edmonton several decades ago.
In September 2015, Edmonton police say they began investigating reports of sexual assaults that occurred at the now-closed Edmonton Youth Development Centre in the 1980s.
Gordon William Dominey, 63, allegedly sexually assaulted five youth while he was employed at the facility from 1985 to 1989. He was working at the time as a priest in the Diocese of Edmonton.
Police say the victims were between 14 and 17 years old.
“We had two complainants come forward to us, and as the investigation progressed we discovered three more,” said Staff Sgt. Devin Laforce. “He could be facing jail time, for sure.”
Dominey was arrested in his home on Thursday by Edmonton police and with the help of Coquitlam RCMP. He is facing five charges of sexual assault and five charges of gross indecency.
The priest transferred from the Diocese of Edmonton to the Diocese of New Westminster in July of 1990, and has been in ministry in the Vancouver-based diocese during most of that time, according to a statement from the Diocese of New Westminster.
He began working at St. Catherine’s Capilano in North Vancouver the same month the Edmonton police investigation began.
A September 2015 post on St. Catherine’s website “warmly welcomed” Dominey as interim priest.
“The canonical committee has completed their work and is pleased to announce that they have unanimously selected the Rev. Gordon Dominey for the position of Interim Priest,” the post reads. “He comes to us with a vast experience in interim ministry around the Diocese, and we feel he will be a very good fit for St. Catherine’s during this time of transition… We warmly welcome Gordon to our Parish family.”
Diocese of New Westminster Bishop Melissa Skelton wrote she will be offering “ongoing pastoral care and support” to the priest. In light of the arrests she has placed Dominey on administrative leave.
“I am offering ongoing pastoral care and support to Gordon in what must be a very difficult time for him,” Skelton wrote in a Feb. 6 pastoral message. “This support will continue as the legal process unfolds. He is entitled to a presumption of innocence and I ask for your prayers for Gordon, for all those who are involved in this legal process and for those bringing forth the allegations against him.”
George Cadman is the chief legal advisor of the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster. He says Dominey has done a “superb” job in his parishes.
“I was surprised to learn of the charges. There's obviously a presumption of innocence,” he said. “I’m sure this is very disturbing for him.”
Edmonton police believe there may be additional victims and witnesses around the same time frame, and are asking anyone with information about “Father Gord” is asked to call 780-423-4567 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Michele Brunoro