A catholic priest charged with sexual offences in Newfoundland and Labrador is apparently on leave from a school board in Toronto.
Responding to a Telegram inquiry about Anthony Hageman of Toronto on Thursday, Shazia Vlahos, chief of communications and government relations at the Toronto Catholic District School Board, said via email Friday that a teacher with the same name — that the board believes is the same person identified in an RCMP news release — is on leave and the board would make no further comment because of matters before the court. Hageman was employed there since 2004.
Thursday afternoon, the RCMP in Grand Falls-Windsor said 62-year-old Hageman is charged with four counts of sexual-related offences alleged to have occurred against a child in Badger in the 1990s.
Hageman, also known as “Father Tony,” was serving in the area with the Roman Catholic Church at the time of the alleged offences, the RCMP said, adding police received a complaint in August 2019 from a person who reported being sexually assaulted at the age of seven.
The Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of Grand Falls also issued a statement Friday about Hageman, saying the diocese was informed of the charges and will co-operate fully in any ongoing investigation and/or litigation.
Hageman was a priest in the diocese from January 1987 until August 2004.
Archbishop Robert Anthony Daniels, through a spokeswoman, declined an interview with The Telegram.
“Because this matter is in the hands of the RCMP and before the court, it is inappropriate for the diocese to make any further comments at this time,” the statement said.
The Archdiocese of St. John’s said Hageman has never served in its jurisdiction. The Archdiocese of Corner Brook and Labrador also said it has no record of Hageman serving in any of its parishes.
The RCMP said Thursday its investigation into Hageman led to charges that include sexual assault, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching and sexual exploitation.
Hageman was served a summons on Feb. 3 in Toronto and is scheduled to attend court in Grand Falls-Windsor on March 25.
The Toronto Police Service said it’s not aware of any investigations in Toronto regarding Hageman.