March 26, 1990 Monday
BEAVERLODGE, Alta. (CP) _ A Roman Catholic priest, described as “good and devoted,” has been charged with sexual assault and indecent assault. Parishioners cried or sat in silence in this northwestern Alberta community Sunday after being told their priest for nine years had been charged. Rev. Gerald Keindel, 55, is the fifth Alberta priest in the last year to be charged with sex-related offences. He was charged Saturday with one count each of sexual assault and indecent assault and is to appear in provincial court in Beaverlodge, 500 kilometres northwest of Edmonton, April 10. Rev. Albert Sturzer of Grande Prairie told the congregation at St. Mary’s Catholic Church about the charges at Sunday morning’s mass. “I was reading a church bulletin when he started talking about some sex-related scandal,” parishioner Janet Cook said in a telephone interview. “It was an unbelievable shock and some people, particularly the older parishioners, were in tears.” In addition to Catholics in the town of 1,800, Keindel also served the communities of Goodfare, Horse Lake and Hythe. Sturzer said Keindel had been temporarily relieved of his duties. Archbishop Henri Legare was not available for comment, but a priest at Legare’s residence in McLennan, who spoke on condition he not be identified, said Keindel “was a good and devoted priest . . . this is as much a shock to us as it is to the parishioners.” RCMP Const. Peter Leblanc said he began the investigation that resulted in the charges several months ago, after a complaint by a Beaverlodge woman, whom he described as being between 40 and 50 years old. Leblanc said the charges are based on events alleged to have taken place in the town between December 1981 and January 1985.
April 10, 1990 Tuesday
BEAVERLODGE, Alta. (CP) _ A Roman Catholic priest elected trial by judge and jury when he appeared in court Tuesday on charges of sexual and indecent assault. A preliminary hearing for Father Gerald Keindel will be held July 24 in Beaverlodge. Keindel, 55, was charged after a complaint was received from a local woman. RCMP have said the charges are based on event alleged to have occurred in Beaverlodge between December of 1981 and January of 1985. Keindel has been temporarily relieved of his duties as parish priest at Beaverlodge, a town of about 1,800 people about 500 kilometres northwest of Edmonton. The priest had also served the nearby communities of Goodfare, Horse Lake and Hythe. Keindel is the fifth Alberta priest in the past year to be charged with sex-related offences.
July 24, 1990 Tuesday
EDMONTON (CP) _ Charges of sexual assault and indecent assault against a northwestern Alberta Roman Catholic priest have been placed on hold. Rev. Gerald Keindel was scheduled to begin a preliminary inquiry today in Beaverlodge, about 500 kilometres north of Edmonton. But Lesley Gronow, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Department, said the two charges were stayed earlier this month. The Crown has a year to reinstate the charges or they are officially withdrawn. In practice, stayed charges are rarely relaid. Keindel, 55, was alleged to have committed the offences against a Beaverlodge woman between December 1981 and January 1985. He was temporarily suspended from his duties when the charges were laid in March. Rev. Albert Sturzer of Grande Prairie said he isn’t sure of Keindel’s current status in the church but said he would definitely not return to Beaverlodge because a new priest has already been named to replace him.