Accused sex offender’s trial date to be determined

Vancouver resident Paul Leroux exits the Meadow Lake provincial courthouse May 2 during a break from a four-day preliminary hearing to determine whether or not he would stand trial on charges of indecent assault. The allegations date back to the 1960s when Leroux was employed at the Beauval Residential Indian School.

by Phil Ambroziak

Accused sex offender Paul Leroux will once again have his day in court.

Leroux, who currently resides in Vancouver, appeared in Meadow Lake provincial court April 30-May 3 for a preliminary hearing to determine whether or not he would stand trial for allegations stemming back to the 1960s. Leroux, 72, was charged last fall with 13 counts of indecent assault following a three-year investigation involving the alleged sexual abuse of young boys at the Beauval Indian Residential School between 1960-1967. Leroux was employed as a dormitory supervisor at the school at the time the assaults are said to have taken place.

Although a court-imposed publication ban prevents a detailed report of what transpired during the hearing, Judge D.J. O’Hanlon ultimately ruled there was enough evidence to warrant a trial. A date and location for the trial, however, have yet to be determined.

“Because the hearing just wrapped up, there will likely have to be a pre-trial criminal conference held and from there a trial date would be set,” explained Jennifer Fabian, registrar at the Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan.

According to various news reports, Leroux was sentenced to 10 years in prison in the late 1990s after being convicted of abusing 14 boys at a residential school in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. The convictions were for gross indecency, indecent assault and attempted buggery between 1967-1979.

When contacted outside of the courthouse during a break in the proceedings, Leroux remained tight-lipped about this latest string of accusations.

“I’d love to talk about it – I have so much I’d like to say,” Leroux said. “But, it’s probably not appropriate to do so at this time.”

Waterhen Lake First Nation resident Sid Fiddler was not among those to testify during the preliminary hearing, but he did admit he was a student at Beauval Indian Residential School during Leroux’s tenure there.

“I think a lot of us who attended the residential school are very happy this is proceeding to the next step where he will have to stand trial for these charges,” Fiddler said. “At least there’s a possibility for some sort of justice after all these years.”

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