Sex charges filed against current, former priests

By on November 1, 1998

Two Anglican priests in Nova Scotia and a former priest who served in Winnipeg are facing charges relating to sexually assaulting boys.

Rev. Wayne Lynch, 49, rector of St. John’s Church in Halifax, and Rev. Michael Boyd, 47, rector of St. Andrew’s Church in Hantsport, both face charges of indecent assault against the same male complainant.

A man who now lives in Winnipeg was between 14 and 15 years old during incidents alleged to have taken place in 1977 and 1978 in various Nova Scotia locations.

In an unrelated case, former Anglican priest Charles Griggs has admitted to sexually abusing a Winnipeg boy 30 years ago. He indicated at a hearing in June he will plead guilty to charges of indecent assault and gross indecency against one complainant, according to a report in the Winnipeg Sun.

Mr. Griggs will stand trial in December on sex charges against the man’s younger brother. The incidents took place between 1965 and 1979 when Mr. Griggs was a priest at St. Barnabas Church.

Mr. Griggs was convicted in 1986 of abusing a 13-year-old altar boy at St. Bede’s Church in Winnipeg the year before. After his guilty plea in that case, he was given a two-year suspended sentence, ordered to undergo psychiatric counselling and forbidden from attending church youth groups without another adult present.

Mr. Griggs was initially permitted to continue as rector of St. Bede’s but was removed a month after his conviction following a public outcry. Mr. Griggs was also editor of Rupert’s Land News for a number of years until the mid- 1970s.

The Diocese of Rupert’s Land agreed to pay damages to the boy in 1989.

Mr. Lynch pleaded not guilty during his appearance in court on Sept. 28. He faces trial on Jan. 22. Mr. Boyd was to be in court on Nov. 2 to enter a plea.

Since the charges came to light in September, neither man has been functioning as a priest in his parish, Archbishop Arthur Peters of Nova Scotia said.

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