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Rick Watkins: Ottawa Catholic Board launching review after St. Matthew High School longtime teacher charged with sex offences

April 24, 2021

Rick Watkins (Rick DESPATIE.)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Ottawa Citizen reported that the Ottawa Catholic School Board is investigating how it handled earlier complaints made against St. Matthew High School teacher and coach Rick Watkins, who was charged with sexually assaulting students on Tuesday.

On 20 April, the Ottawa Police Service arrested 57 years old Watkins, of Ottawa and charged him with three counts of Sexual Assault, three counts of Sexual Interference and three counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Young Person.

According to police, all the alleged incidents are believed to happen between the fall of 2020 and March 2021 involving young girls under the ages of 14.

On Friday, Director of Education Thomas D’Amico conceded that other parents and students had said they complained about Despatie/Watkins in the past, but nothing was done.

“We heard from some former students and parents that allegations had been brought forward to the previous school administration, yet they did not act on these concerns,” said Director of Education Thomas D’Amico in a letter to parents, guardians and students of the school.

“Our Human Resources department staff has begun a review to determine if we failed to address these concerns. The third-party College of Teachers will also look at all the information related to these allegations and any previous complaints against the staff member.”

“On behalf of the Ottawa Catholic School Board, I apologize to any former students who have experienced harm by someone in a position of trust,” said D’Amico.

“No student in our care should be subjected to any type of harm, especially when attending their own school where so many staff work hard to create a safe and caring environment.”

D’Amico encourages anyone who previously reported information that they feel was not addressed to contact the Ottawa Catholic School Board’s Human Resources department.
None of the allegations have been tested in court.

If you have a complaint against Rick Watkins or are a victim of sexual assault in Ontario, please contact us. We can help.

CBC News reported that John Rietveld, 67, of Ottawa has been charged with buggery, indecent assault on a male, two sexual assaults, two counts of sexual interference with someone under 16, and two counts of invitation to sexual touching of someone under 16. Ottawa police say the charges originate from incidents that happened between July 1, 1978, and March 31, 2006. The crimes were reported in the Niagara Region, Mississauga, Perth and Ottawa. If you have a complaint against John Rietveld or are a victim of sexual assault in Ontario, please contact us. We can help.

Frank Prevost —Warden of South Glengarry Mayor and United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry is facing criminal charges following an online undercover operation. If you have a complaint against Frank Prevost or are a victim of sexual assault in Ontario, please contact us. We can help.

CBC News reported that Darren Green, a teacher of Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, has been charged with two counts of sexual assault, one count of sexual interference and one count of sexual exploitation. Ottawa police say the charges originate from incidents involving a girl under 18 that allegedly took place between 2015 and 2018. If you have a complaint against Darren Green or are a victim of sexual assault in Ontario, please contact us. We can help.

CBC News reported that Rick Despatie a.k.a Rick Watkins an Ottawa high school math teacher has been charged with 45 more sex crimes involving children.

Global News reported that Jeff Peters, a former Perth, Ont., teacher has pleaded guilty to two sex offences. On April 29, Jeff Peters, a former Catholic school teacher in Perth, was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual assault and invitation to sexual touching.

Ottawa Citizen reported that the Ottawa Catholic School Board is investigating how it handled earlier complaints made against St. Matthew High School teacher and coach Rick Watkins, who was charged with sexually assaulting students on Tuesday. If you have a complaint against Rick Watkins or are a victim of sexual assault in Ontario, please contact us. We can help.

Ottawa Police say that Rick Watkins, a teacher at St. Matthew in Orléans, has been charged with multiple counts of sexual assault. The Ottawa Police Service arrested 57 years old Watkins, of Ottawa and charged him with three counts of Sexual Assault, three counts of Sexual Interference and three counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Young Person.

CBC News reported that John Douglas Hashimoto, A former lead instructor with the Toronto Blue Jays’ academy for young players has been charged with luring a child under 16 and an invitation to sexual touching, Halton Regional Police said in a release Thursday. If you have a complaint against John Douglas Hashimoto or are a victim of sexual assault in Ontario, please contact us. We can help.

CBC News reported that Marcello De Almeida, An Ottawa judo coach, has been charged with two counts each of sexual assault, sexual exploitation of a young person, and sexual interference. Ottawa police say the charges originate from incidents involving a girl that allegedly took place between February and December 2020. If you have a complaint against Marcello De Almeida or are a victim of sexual assault in Ontario, please contact us. We can help.

CTV News reported that, Lorne Rappaport hockey coach has been charged with sexual assault, sexual exploitation and sexual interference with a person under 16. If you have a complaint against Lorne Rappaport or are a victim of sexual assault in Ontario, please contact us. We can help.