Former Anglican priest pleads guilty to sexual interference

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David Norton, a former Anglican priest, has pleaded guilty to one count of sexual interference against a child, which took place while he was serving as priest in the diocese of Huron.

“We are grieved by his actions and the harm that has been caused to the victim and his family and continue to pray for healing,” the diocese of Huron said in a press release issued Feb. 28, 2018, the same day that Norton made his guilty plea.

It also notes that Norton, 72, “relinquished his exercise of ministry as an Anglican priest on May 2, 2016.”

According to the facts of the case agreed to by the Crown and defence and read into the court record March 7, the victim, who cannot be named due to a publication ban, was abused from 1991 to 1995, when he was between the ages of nine and 13, the CBC said. The court heard that the abuse often took place on camping trips that the boy had with Norton, it added.

Norton’s case will return to court in May for pre-sentencing. A separate trial for similar charges involving other complainants is set to begin in April.

In 2015, Norton was charged in connection with sexual abuse allegations from the 1970s involving three other boys.

In response to the November 2015 charges, then-Bishop of Huron Robert Bennett suspended Norton’s permit to function as a priest.

Norton was rector of St. Andrew’s Anglican Church at Chippewas of the Thames First Nation from 1977 to 1983. He retired from full-time work with the diocese of Huron in 2011. He was also a professor at King’s University College in London, Ont.

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Joelle Kidd
Joelle Kidd joined the Anglican Journal in 2017 as staff writer. She has worked as an editor and writer for the Winnipeg-based Fanfare Magazine Group and as freelance copy editor for Naida Communications.

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