The Catholic community in Boise is in shock after hearing the news that a local retired priest was arrested Friday afternoon.
The Idaho Attorney General’s Office said 72-year-old W. Thomas Faucher is facing ten felony charges of sexual exploitation of a child. He's scheduled to appear in court on Monday.
"There was no indication, nothing whatsoever, to give us any idea about this," said Gene Fadness, communications director for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise.
Faucher had been with the diocese for many years, with nearly two decades of that time spent as the pastor for St. Mary’s. The role involved countless interactions with adults and children.
“It's very sad,” Fadness said. “We feel badly, not only for children who are exploited in this manner that of course is our first concern, but also for the many, many people at St. Mary’s and other parishes who knew Father Faucher and trusted him."
This isn't the first time an Idaho priest has been arrested for this type of crime. KTVB asked what kinds of vetting processes are in place, and if anything will change.
"We are as careful as we can be. I mean we'll certainly look back and see if there were things that could have been done differently, but I don't think anyone had any idea,” Fadness said. “I don't know how you would have had an indication, like I said, there were no complaints filed. There were no issues. If issues along these lines had been brought up he would have been immediately removed."
Few details about the alleged crime have been released, but the attorney general's office said the investigation started with a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
“Right now we're letting the civil authorities carry out their investigation and supporting them in whatever they need to complete the investigation,” Fadness said. “What happens after that investigation is yet to be determined."