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Ottawa Catholic school teacher accused of sexually assaulting girls under 14

Ottawa police are concerned that there may be more victims.
2018-12-12 ottawa police headquartersmv1
Ottawa Police Service headquarters. Mike Vlasveld/ OttawaMatters

A 57-year-old Ottawa man is facing multiple sexual assault-related charges after a police investigation into incidents involving students at a local Catholic school.

Police launched an investigation in March of this year after hearing about incidents happening between the fall of 2020 and March, involving young girls under the ages of 14.

The suspect in these cases was teaching as a member of the Ottawa Catholic School Board at the time of the incidents. 

Rick Watkins has been charged with:

  • Sexual assault (three counts)
  • Sexual interference (three counts)
  • Sexual exploitation of a young person (three counts)

At the time of the offences police say Watkins was known as Rick Despatie. 

He is scheduled to appear in court later Tuesday, April 20. 

Ottawa police are concerned that there may be more victims. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Ottawa Police Service Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit at 613-236-1222, extension 5944. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 or at 

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