Priest charged with sexual assault of a minor once worked in Pickering


Published July 27, 2023 at 4:44 pm

Father Neil Pereira. via Diocese of Peterborough on Youtube.

A Catholic Priest who once worked in a Pickering church has been charged with the sexual assault of a minor in Peterborough.

The accused, Father Neil Pereira, was arrested on July 25 on charges of sexual assault and sexual interference. The latter charge applies to any sexual touching of a victim under age 16. Peterborough police did not specify much detail about the investigation but noted the nature of the allegations led them to believe there may be further victims.

Periera is fairly new to the priesthood having been ordained in 2020 with the Archdiocese of Toronto. Following this he served as an Associate Pastor at St. Isaac Jogues Parish on Finch Ave. until 2022. He has been on loan to the Diocese of Peterborough since then.

The Diocese received the allegations against Pereira in June which they immediately reported to the Children’s Aid Society and Peterborough police, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Toronto.

Periera was immediately removed from his position as Campus Ministry Director in Peterborough, which serves Trent University and Fleming College, once the Diocese received the complaint.

However, the Archdiocese stressed, Periera is “entitled to due process, as is any accused individual.” The allegations have not been proven in court.

“The Archdiocese of Toronto looks upon any allegation of misconduct as an urgent matter that requires serious attention,” they continued, “We pray for all those who are affected by this painful situation.”

The Archdiocese and Diocese are fully cooperating with the investigation, police said. Periera’s first court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 8. Anyone with information can call Peterborough police at 705-876-1122 ext. 335 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.




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