Johannes Rivoire, priest accused of sexually abusing children in Nunavut, dies

Johannes Rivoire is shown in Arviat, Nunavut, in 1979. The priest accused of sexually abusing Inuit children in Nunavut died on Thursday. (Library and Archives Canada)

Johannes Rivoire was 93 when he died on Thursday

A priest accused of sexually abusing children while working in Nunavut has died, according to the Canadian Oblates.

Johannes Rivoire died on Thursday “after a long illness,” Ken Thorson, head of OMI Lacombe Canada, wrote in an email to CBC.

Rivoire, an Oblate priest from France, has long faced allegations he sexually abused children in Nunavut in the 1960s and 1970s. He spent more than 30 years working as a priest in the territory, mostly in Arviat and Naujaat.

He was facing one charge of sexually abusing a girl in Nunavut when he died. His other charges were stayed in 2017 after the Crown decided there was no prospect of conviction.

“We recognize that this news will be difficult for many to receive, especially for the survivors and their families who advocated for him to face justice in Canada,” Thorson wrote.

Refused to return to Canada for trial 

Rivoire has denied the allegations made against him and refused to come back to Canada to stand trial.

“We sincerely regret that despite all their efforts, Rivoire never made himself available and will never face the charges that were laid against him. We further regret that efforts for him to be formally removed as a priest were unsuccessful,” Thorson wrote.

Last month, retired Quebec Superior Court judge Andre Denis, in a report commissioned by the Canadian Oblates, said he believes allegations made against Rivoire of sexually abusing children in the territory are true.

Rivoire was 93.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

-With files from Kate Kyle

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Retired Quebec judge says he believes allegations against former Nunavut priest, CBC News

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