CanWest News Service Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2007
WINDSOR, Ont. â€” Pedophile priest Charles Sylvestre died Mondaynight, after serving just a few months in prison for sexually abusing47 girls over a period of 30 years in five parishes across southwesternOntario.
"I knew he was in hospital," Chatham-Kent, Ont., Crownattorney Paul Bailey said Tuesday. "I was told his sister was able tovisit him (Monday)."
Bailey said he didn't have any informationabout the cause of death, but Sylvestre, 84, had been suffering from arange of illnesses.
Sylvestre was sentenced in October to threeyears in prison after pleading guilty to nearly four decades of sexualabuse against 47 young girls between the ages of eight and 15.
Bailey has said that several more complainants came forward who weren't included in the criminal proceedings.
The Catholic Diocese of London is facing 41 lawsuits from Sylvestreâ€™s victims, who were abused between 1954 to 1986.
Ina statement posted on the Diocese of Londonâ€™s website, director ofcommunications Ron Pickersgill said funeral arrangements for a privateceremony have not yet been finalized.
"We continue to feelgrief and shock at the revelations of his actions, and we say againthat we deplore all instances of sexual abuse and sexual impropriety,especially by clergy or anyone in the church's employ, towards minors,"said Pickersgill in a statement.
"On this occasion, Bishop(Ronald) Fabbro has directed all parishes to offer special prayers forall victims of abuse by Father Sylvestre, for their families, and forthose who support them. And we ask for prayers for the family of FatherSylvestre and for the repose of his soul."