Saskatchewan Examiner

A Saskatchewan priest is ‘grateful’ for the community’s support after sexual assault charges were dropped

After sexual assault charges were dropped, a Saskatchewan priest expressed gratitude to the community.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Crown has postponed charges of sexual assault, sexual interference, and sexual exploitation against a rural Saskatchewan priest.
  • According to Pfefferle, the defense delivered Crown Counsel Jennifer Claxton-Viczko materials, texts, and photos relevant to the case. She then ordered the proceedings to come to a halt.
  • The Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon announced that Atter had been removed from the ministry after learning about the allegations.

Sexual assault, sexual interference, as well as sexual exploitation charges allegedly a rural Saskatchewan priest have been stayed by the Crown.

In December 2020, Fr. Anthony Tei Atter of Lake Lenore, the priest in charge of the parishes of St. Gregory, St. Ann, and St. Anthony, was charged. The reported incidents took place between September 1 and November 4, 2020.

In an email to CTV News, Fr Atter’s lawyer, Brian Pfefferle, stated, “Fr Atter has always maintained his innocence in this issue.”

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“He has never caused any harm to a youngster. He adored the people and the community in which he worked. He values the overwhelming asset he received from parishioners as well as community members who stayed by him throughout the process. On Tuesday morning, some 80 people were expected to go up to show their support for him.”

On Monday, Pfefferle said, the defense handed Crown counsel Jennifer Claxton-Viczko papers, texts, and images pertinent to the case. She then ordered a halt to the proceedings.

“We are unable to speak further on the type of evidence we submit to the Crown due to the susceptible nature of these matters and the complainant’s identity,” Pfefferle said.

After sexual assault charges were dropped, a Saskatchewan priest expressed gratitude to the community.
After sexual assault charges were dropped, a Saskatchewan priest expressed gratitude to the community. Image from iHeartRadio

“We felt it was necessary to give Ms. Claxton-Viczko this information. An ambush approach would not serve justice in this case since we know Ms. Claxton-Viczko is the kind of prosecutor who carefully evaluates all evidence with an open mind.”

Last year, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon announced that Atter had been removed from the ministry after learning about the allegations.

Pfefferle stated that Atter is unsure about his plans but will comply with any internal investigations if they are conducted and that he desires to remain in Saskatchewan.

Source: CTV News

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