A Canberra Catholic priest will face the ACT Magistrates Court next week to answer allegations he groped a girl three times in the 1990s. Photo: Graham Tidy.Source: Canberra Times

A Canberra Catholic priest has been charged over historical acts ofindecency on a child in the 1990s.

Father Edward Evans, 83, of Braddon, will face the ACT Magistrates Courtnext week to answer allegations he groped the girl, aged between 10 and 16years, three times.

The elderly priest has pledged to fight the charges.

The three offences allegedly occurred between 1995 and 1997 at Father’sEvans’ Braddon home, according to police.

Father Evans has a long association with Canberra’s German Catholiccommunity. He has worked as a German-language chaplain for the German communityin Canberra, and represents the country’s Catholic mission.

Father Evans formerly worked from St Patrick’s Catholic Church inBraddon, a church that conducts Masses in German every Sunday.

The priest was the subject of a ”lengthy investigation” by CriminalInvestigations detectives.

ACT Policing said officers arrested him at City Police Station onWednesday afternoon. He was charged and granted police bail, subject to anumber of conditions.

Father Evans is expected to appear in court on June 7.

The accused man’s lawyer, Ben Aulich, told Fairfax Media in a statementthat his client would fight the allegations.

”I hold instructions to enter pleas of not guilty to the charges beforethe court,” Mr Aulich said.

”My client has faith in the criminal justice system and is anxious tohave this matter heard and to clear his name.”

The Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn declined to comment onthe matter.

ACT Policing has not formally released the man’s identity.