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Dominica Catholics rally in support of parish priest accused of molesting a girl 20 years ago

Dozens of parishioners have gathered outside a Roman Catholic church in Dominica to support a parish priest who has been accused of molesting a girl nearly two decades ago.

Catholics in Dominica's Grand Bay gathered Sunday holding placards and chanting their support for Monsignor Reginald Lafleur.

The 59-year-old priest has been put on administrative leave after a woman alleged that he touched her inappropriately on her "bottom and breast" and made "sweet eyes" at her 19 years ago when she was a 12-year-old parishioner. The woman made the accusations against Lafleur in a series of letters to Bishop Gabriel Malzaire, the leader of Dominica's diocese.

Malzaire has sent the accuser to Trinidad for counseling as a church panel investigates her allegations.