Guelph police have charged a former pastor in connection with a sexual assault that allegedly happened 27 years ago.

Guelph Police Service Sgt. Doug Pflug says 67-year-old James (Jim) Boudreau was arrested on Wednesday and charged with one count of sexual assault.

The charge reportedly stems from an incident alleged to have occurred when Boudreau was a pastor at St. John The Baptist Catholic Church in the city's north end.

Police say the alleged victim was a male teenage parishioner. The investigation began in December after a complaint was received from a man who was in his late teens in 1984.

As news of the arrest spreads, local residents like Brenda Schreiber are waiting for more information before passing judgment on the allegations.

"So it's disturbing," she says, "but that's all I can really say because I don't know him and I don't know the particulars of the situation. But I'd say it's unfortunate."

Chad Marsland, who also lives in Guelph, finds the arrest unsettling, he says "You place your trust in these people and you hope that they reciprocate and hold your trust. So it's pretty sad to hear that trust may have been betrayed."

Boudreau was released on a promise to appear and is due to return to court on March 1.

Police say Boudreau has been a parish priest in a number of churches in southern Ontario.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Sgt. Andrea Ninacs at 519-824-1212 ext. 329 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.