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Report finds that L’Arche co-founder Jean Vanier sexually abused 25 women

Canadian spent decades with L’Arche, a program helping those with developmental disabilities
In this file photo dated Wednesday, March 11, 2015, showing Jean Vanier, the founder of L’ARCHE, an international network of communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together, in central London. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Lefteris Pitarakis, FILE

A report commissioned by a non-profit organization founded by the late Jean Vanier says the Canadian sexually abused 25 women during his decades with the group.

L’Arche International says the investigation identified 25 women who experienced a sexual act or an intimate gesture from Vanier between 1952 and 2019.

The report released today says the relationships between Vanier, who died in 2019, and the women are “part of a continuum of confusion, control and abuse.”

Vanier, son of former governor general Georges Vanier, worked as a Canadian navy officer and professor before turning to Catholic-inspired charity work.

He founded L’Arche in 1964 as an alternative living environment where those with developmental disabilities could be full-fledged participants in the community instead of patients.

In February 2020, the organization had reported that Vanier had manipulative sexual relationships with at least six women between 1975 and 1990 and used his power over them to take advantage of them.

The latest report stresses that none of the alleged victims had intellectual disabilities.

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