BOISE, Idaho - A wave of shock is hitting the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise after the former priest of Saint Mary's Church and school, 72-year-old Thomas Faucher, faces several charges for child sex crimes.
"What's on the hearts of minds of the people at Saint Mary's first and foremost are the victims of these types of crimes," said Deacon Gene Fadness, a spokesmen for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise.
Fadness says they were not aware of the allegations until Friday and will cooperate fully with law enforcement in their investigation.
According to the Idaho Attorney General's office, the investigation into Father Faucher began with a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. On Friday police searched his Boise home and took him into custody. The retired priest now faces one count of Possession of a Controlled Substance and ten counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Child.
Details of the alleged sex crimes are unclear; the charges could apply to everything from possession of sexually exploitative material to making them. The diocese is now worried there may potentially be victims in the Treasure Valley.
"We have, to date, no knowledge of that," said Fadness. "If there are people who are victims or who know victims we would want them to come forward."
The diocese says Father Faucher retired three years ago citing health issues and hasn't held any pastoral assignments since. Because of the seriousness of the allegations, Faucher will be unable to minister in the Diocese of Boise in any way.
"We are a parish of devoted faithful people. Saint Mary's is shocked and sadden but it will continue to do the good work that it does in the community through it's food bank, school and other ministries,"said Fadness.
Faucher is expected to make his initial court appearance at the Ada County Court House on Monday.