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Catholic priest will be sentenced for sex offences in August

By Keith Lacey A disgraced Roman Catholic priest will find out the second week of August whether or not heÂ?s going to jail. Father Donald Holmes will be sentenced following a hearing scheduled Friday for two days on August 12 and 13.
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By Keith Lacey

A disgraced Roman Catholic priest will find out the second week of August whether or not heÂ?s going to jail.

Father Donald Holmes will be sentenced following a hearing scheduled Friday for two days on August 12 and 13.

Justice Louise Gauthier of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice will hear two days of submissions from defence counsel Andrew Buttazzoni and assistant Crown attorney Diana Fuller before imposing a sentence.

Holmes, 63, was found guilty 10 days ago by a jury of 14 counts of indecent assault against 12 different complainants.

Holmes was originally charged with 16 counts of indecent assault, one count of sexual assault and one count of gross indecency. The Crown dropped one count of indecent assault and one count of gross in relation to one complainant.

Twelve women, now between the ages of 34 and 42, testified Holmes indecently touched, fondled, rubbed and kissed them in a sexual manner when they were between the ages of nine and 13.

Each complainant said the incidents took place when Holmes was a parish priest at two churches in Sudbury and one in Sturgeon Falls between 1972 and 1984.

Holmes was suspended from all church duties and placed on administrative leave after one woman made an allegation of indecent assault in the fall of 1999. Several other complainants came forward making similar allegations of sexual impropriety against Holmes.

Holmes pleaded not guilty to every count and vehemently denied ever indecently assaulting any young girl at any time in his life.

Fuller is expected to ask for a lengthy jail sentence. Buttazzoni is expected to ask the court to impose a conditional sentence to be served in the community.

Holmes remains free until the sentencing hearing under the same conditions of bail as heÂ?s been under for more than two years.



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