Former Yarmouth Priest Pleads Guilty to Indecent Assault

By Brian Medel
The Chronicle-Herald
May 14, 2012

Former Roman Catholic priest Albert LeBlanc leaves Yarmouth Provincial Court Monday. LeBlanc was there for the opening day of his trial on sexual abuse charges dating back decades. (BRIAN MEDEL / Yarmouth Bureau)

Albert LeBlanc, the former priest accused of sexually abusing boys in the 1970 and 80s, pleaded guilty this afternoon to six counts of indecent assault involving six victims.

About 20 people in Yarmouth provincial court broke into applause when they heard the plea. A group of about a dozen victims and their supporters began waiting this morning for their first glimpse of LeBlanc who spent most of the day behind closed doors.

Leblanc will be sentenced on Aug. 17 and remains free until then on strict conditions.

The charge of "indecent assault" is worded in the language of the criminal code prior to 1982, which is when Leblanc committed his crimes.

He originally faced 40 charges of gross indecency and indecent assault spanning 15 years starting 1970. The alleged victims were between the ages of seven and 11 at the time.

Now in his 80s, LeBlanc, a one-time Roman Catholic priest who later became a probation officer, was to stand trial this morning. However, Crown attorney Alonzo Wright and defence lawyer Gilles Lemieux met this morning to discuss the case, which was scheduled for five days.

Today is the first time that LeBlanc has been in the courthouse. He was arrested in early January 2011 in Bouctouche, N.B., where he lives with his wife, who is also in her 80s.

Police have since laid 10 additional charges which also date back to the 1970s.

Once the criminal case has been resolved, LeBlanc will also have to face a lawsuit launched by three of his accusers.

The men are seeking $5 million in damages in their suit against LeBlanc, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Halifax and the Diocese of Yarmouth.









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