Wednesday, March 16, 2011

More charges

http://thechronicleherald.ca/NovaScotia/1233341.html
ext + -
Ex-priest faces more sex abuse charges
10 new offences added to 40 already on docket
By BRIAN MEDEL Yarmouth Bureau
Wed, Mar 16 - 4:54 AM
YARMOUTH — A former Roman Catholic priest now faces 50 sex-related charges involving boys from throughout Yarmouth County.

Albert LeBlanc, who left the priesthood and became a probation officer, was to appear in Yarmouth provincial court on Tuesday to face 40 charges of gross indecency and indecent assault, but it was revealed during the hearing that he faces 10 new charges, including three counts of gross indecency and seven of indecent assault.

Some of the charges date back to incidents that allegedly occurred in the 1970s.

The new charges involve three new victims, which brings the number of alleged victims to six. The original charges allegedly involved children between the ages of seven and 11, according to the RCMP.

LeBlanc, a resident of Bouctouche, N.B., who turned 82 last week, did not appear in court. He was represented by his lawyer Gilles Lemieux.

Lemieux told Judge Robert Prince that he had been prepared to enter pleas on the original 40 charges, but because the new charges were laid, he asked for more time to review the new charges before entering any pleas.

Prince granted the request, setting May 30 as LeBlanc’s next court date.

"At that time I’ll be in a position to advise the court and my colleague how much time is going to be (needed) for a preliminary inquiry," said Lemieux.

Outside the courtroom, he had not yet seen the new charges.

Lemieux said pleas will be entered on May 30 but he declined to say what the pleas would be.

He would not say how LeBlanc feels about the charges.

"That’s got to come from him," said Lemieux.

LeBlanc was ordained a priest in Bouctouche in 1955. He served in churches in Digby and Melbourne, Yarmouth County. He also served at St. Ambrose Cathedral and Notre Dame de Fatima Catholic Church, both in Yarmouth. While a priest, he organized trips for altar boys to attend sporting events in Boston, according to published reports.

LeBlanc left the priesthood in 1975 and became a probation officer in Yarmouth shortly after that.

In a previous interview, a church official said he was not asked to leave the priesthood.

LeBlanc also got married after leaving the priesthood.

A publication ban prevents the publication of anything that would identify the complainants.

LeBlanc was arrested Jan. 6, by Yarmouth RCMP in Bouctouche N.B., where, according to court records, he has a home on Richard Ave. He remains free.

He has been ordered to have no contact with children under 16 and he must also have no contact with the complainants.( bmedel@herald.ca)

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