Another adjournment for former priest

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Yarmouth Justice Centre TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Yarmouth Justice Centre TINA COMEAU PHOTO

The Yarmouth County Vanguard

Published on May 31, 2011

By Tina Comeau

THE VANGUARD

NovaNewsNow.com

Another adjournment has been granted in the case of a former Yarmouth priest who is facing sexually-related allegations of indecent assault and gross indecency.

The case of Albert LeBlanc, 82, will be back before a judge for election and plea on Aug. 29. The adjournment, which came at the request of the Crown, was granted in provincial court in Yarmouth on May 30.

LeBlanc is facing 50 charges which involve six complainants.

Although they are grown men now, at the time the offences are alleged to have occurred they would have been young boys. Most, the RCMP have said, were between the ages of seven and 11.

The offences are alleged to have taken place between 1964 and 1985. LeBlanc resigned from the priesthood in 1973. The majority of charges date back to after LeBlanc had left the priesthood.

A publication ban protects the identities of the complainants.

The Archdiocese of Halifax has said it was LeBlanc’s choice to leave the priesthood. In a letter he wrote he said he was finding good life as a layperson and hoped to live that way.

“There is no indication he was asked to leave,” said Marilyn Sweet, a spokesperson for the archdiocese. “Men leaving the priesthood was a common thing at the time.”

After leaving the priesthood LeBlanc worked as a caseworker for Family and Children’s Services in Yarmouth, and then started work as a probation office in 1975.

LeBlanc also coached minor hockey.

LeBlanc was arrested at his home in Bouctouche, New Brunswick, on Jan. 6.

While this matter is before the courts, LeBlanc is ordered not to have any contact with children under the age of 16.

Court documents describe some of the alleged offences as oral sex and fondling.

When he was a priest, LeBlanc used to organize trips to Boston for altar boys, young hockey players and others from the community to watch NHL games. Aside from watching the games they would get to mingle with NHL players and get their autographs.

The RCMP began its investigation last April after three complainants came forward.

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