BRANTFORD, Ont. -- A man who said he was repeatedly molested as a teenager by a former Anglican minister said he was warned not to tell anyone what was going on or they would both get into trouble.
The minister told the teen to keep the sexual activity a secret, the now 42-year-old man told court Monday.
"The impression I got was that it was wrong what we were doing, and we can't let anybody know because of consequences," he said.
George Ferris, 66, now of Cambridge, Ont., has pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual exploitation. The charges span a time frame between 1983 and 1989.
The witness told court that the sexual advances began with embraces that were tighter and longer than usual, and progressed to fondling, oral sex and two incidents of actual or attempted anal intercourse.
The witness said that by the time he was 13, he knew he had an interest in males rather than females. He said he did not know "how to say no" to the sexual advances because of his respect for Ferris's position. He said he was confused by what was happening.
The witness said he has struggled with addiction problems since he was in his mid-20s and continues to use, albeit infrequently.
Court also heard that the witness contacted Ferris by phone in 2006 and asked for money in exchange for his continued silence. Ferris paid the man $5,000 by way of deposits to his bank account over a period of several months, court heard.
Ferris ministered at St. James' Anglican Church in Paris, Ont., for 10 years, beginning in 1981. He retired from the ministry in 2010.