A judge has lifted a publication preventing media from sharing the nature of criminal charges against former Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Don MacIntyre.
MacIntyre resigned suddenly from the UCP caucus and the legislature last Friday after being charged with sexual assault and sexual interference, rdnewsNOW can now tell you. The charges reportedly date back to before MacIntyre's time in office.
A lawyer appeared in Red Deer court Friday morning on behalf of several media outlets seeking to have the publication ban lifted.
Court records show MacIntyre made his first appearance in Red Deer court on Feb. 1 and is due to appear again on Feb. 15.
As per the Criminal Code of Canada, sexual interference is a charge that applies in cases where a person touches, directly or indirectly, a part of someone under 16 years of age for a sexual purpose.
According to CBC News, Justice Glenn Poelman overturned the publication ban, issued by a justice of the peace, saying it “was an error in law” and would “infringe… freedom of press to report on proceedings of court.”
UCP leader Jason Kenney issued a statement shortly after the publication ban was lifted.
“I was shocked and disgusted to learn of the serious criminal charges filed against former MLA Don MacIntyre,” Kenney said. “There are few crimes more vile than sexual crimes against children, and those found guilty of it deserve to endure the most severe legal consequences possible.”
Kenney commended the RCMP for their investigation and says the party’s thoughts are with the victim involved in this case. He said the UCP first learned about the charges against MacIntyre when he called the UCP House Leader last Friday to resign.
MacIntyre was elected as MLA in 2015 as a member of the Wildrose Party. He joined the United Conservative Party following last year’s merger with the Progressive Conservatives.
Prior to politics, MacIntyre worked as a part-time instructor for the alternative energy program at NAIT.
In a tweet last Friday, MacIntyre said, "Hi folks. Resigning from politics today to focus on our family. Thanks everyone!"
(With file from CBC News)
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