Priest convicted of sex related crimes found dead in west end apartment

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CKWS Newswatch





It was here in an apartment building on Norwest Road where Father Rene Labelle’s lifeless body was discovered Monday. Police don’t suspect foul play and it’s been suggested the Priest took his own life.

A sad day for those at the Archdioceses in KIngston. In a prepared statement the organization said,

“We are saddened to learn that Father Rene Labelle was found dead in his Kingston apartment.”

The church stated Labelle was 65 years old and had been priest of the Archdiocese of Kingston for 36 years.


“We ask for your prayers for him and for his family.”

In January, Labelle was convicted on three sex related charges.  It was revealed during trial the Priest sexually abused a teenage boy in his church residence on Wolfe Island back in the mid 2000′s. The boy, whose identity is protected under a publication ban, testified that Labelle fondled him and made him touch him inappropriately. Labelle was sentenced to 16 months in provincial prison and 30 months probation.

He wasn’t in custody long, his lawyer filed an appeal and the 65 year old was released from custody on bail.

Labelle’s lawyer says he doesn’t know the official cause of death, declining to comment further.

“Obviously, I have a point of view but this is a situation where “No further comment” would seem to me to be the best course to follow presently.”

“As for Labelle’s appeal, his lawyer John Ecclestone explained through email that an application for abandonment will need to be filed with the Ontario Court of Appeal. What that does is essentially terminates the appeal.

Morganne Campbell CKWS Newswatch Kingston.”

9 Responses to Priest convicted of sex related crimes found dead in west end apartment

  1. Sylvia says:

    So the appeal is terminated and the conviction stands. That is good news.

  2. John Doe says:

    The world is better off. He was the priest at our high school and I personally knew the victim. It’s so disturbing to find out about this cliche and stereotypical story. Just knowing he used his position of power and influence for his own disgusting and twisted pleasure disgusts me to my core. And what’s most sad is that his devious betrayal of trust resulted in mental and psychological devistation for someone who was such a nice guy. If it is possible to find a silver lining in all of this, it’s that his guilty conscious finally got him and he did what so many wanted to do.

  3. Mike says:

    He was a liar and a coward.

  4. JG says:

    When my Father passed away in 2010, before a settlement or some apology was obtained from “the church”, the most hurtful, misplaced comment or sound of rejoicing came from Michel Bastarache’s assistant when I informed him of his passing.. He sounded happy on the telephone and that was the start of this sad journey for me. That was over four years ago, before I had any of the details of the horror contained on this site and in our lives

    I can understand the hurt, the frustration, the treason we can all feel by the callousness imposed to the victims by these abusers and a “protective”, “secretive” church in constant denial in defense of its worldly possessions.
    I don’t want to be preaching to anyone but the way I see it is that in no way am I going to stoop down to their level and start rejoicing at anyone’s death.
    I”ll be damned if I let them win this last battle where I let “them” still have some influence on my behavior, my last bit of dignity as a human being.
    He is dead, out of our hands and I hope he gets his due .

    To his family and to the people who trusted him, Love and Prayers to help in your time of healing; take the time to pray and help in the healing of the victims of abuse, Please.

    Don”t let the monsters take you down with them!
    Be better. Be gentle. Be as “human” should be…There is enough pain , enough hate to go around many times over, enough wars that no one is responsible for…
    Grand or very discreet, Peace is a choice of the Heart…
    Dare to dream, dare to be the first…to be better.


  5. Mike says:

    Honestly, I get what your saying…..however I am rejoicing in his death. Sorry, I had to say it. I had been contemplating pressing changes against him over the last several months. I really didn’t want to go back and open that chapter. I really didn’t want to get my family and friends involved-court dates, statements and the likes. It would have been a nightmare for all involved. I really give credit and thanks to the first victim who had the courage to step forward. The fact that Rene had the audacity to appeal for a crime that he DID commit shows what type of sociopathic human being he was (it feels great to use past-tenses in reference to him.) I really don’t care how his loved ones feel because he didn’t care how his actions would effect my loved ones when I too suffered an emotional breakdown.

    I was looking forward to him going to prison, but I’m sure his pitiful west end appartment became that.

    Good riddance and he did me a favor by ending his life (if that is the case) because 16 months away was not long enough for him.

    • PJ says:

      Agreed Mike. JG makes good points but not everyone is in the same place as he (jg) is and until we attain that level of well-being, we will react the way we do. At least our actions rarely inflict the same level of harm that a pervert collar did and continues to do to his suffering victims.

    • 1yellowknife says:

      Mike: I prayed for you already even though I did not know your name at the time. Now I send you a hug.

  6. JG says:

    It is a tough trek to go from “watering” the grave of the abuser to just “waving”to it(experience!), however you see fit…It is a one day at a time battle.
    I support you and all the survivors 1000%. I think you know that and that otherwise I would have taken leave a long time ago.
    I certainly would have preferred or prefer any day to face the abuser, eye to eye, rather than see him just move on. I firmly believe it is out of our hands now and I “practice” very hard to control the anger which could gnaw at me like a cancer.
    I understand, everything in good time.
    The battle continues;
    “Next one!?”…

  7. MJD says:

    Mike, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and all the victims/survivors. I know you are helping many others by posting here with honesty and compassion for other victims/survivors.
    I wonder how many people Labelle victimized, and how they must be dealing with all of this…he was the chaplain during my years in high school and I cannot imagine anyone feeling comfortable coming forward in an environment like that where it was always made clear that teachers, admin, etc. were always right and we were just students who should accept that. And that is to say nothing of the other factors that prevent many victims/survivors of reporting their abuse.

    I hope people will respect that victims/survivors will deal with this in their own ways, and give them the space to do so. Please let us know how we can support you.

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