The trial started Tuesday morning for a former Tecumseh priest charged with theft.

Robert Couture, a former priest for Ste. Anne Roman Catholic Church, is charged with one count of theft over $5,000.

Essex County OPP completed a lengthy investigation dating back to 2002. Police say a financial audit of the parishes’ accounts yielded about $180,000 in irregularities.

Officials from Ste. Anne Parish in Tecumseh notified the OPP in August of 2011, regarding an internal theft that occurred between 2002 and 2010.

Couture, of Windsor, was arrested and charged.

The Diocese of London said in a news release Couture left the parish in 2010 and was granted a personal leave of absence. Diocese of London policy states when there is a change in the pastor of a parish, an audit of the parish’s finances is completed.