Don MacIntyre, a former Alberta MLA who resigned his United Conservative Party (UCP) seat earlier this month, is facing sexual assault charges against a minor.
The CBC reports that a judge overturned a publication ban on Friday morning which allowed them to report that MacIntyre has been charged with sexual interference and sexual assault. A sexual interference charge only comes about when the victim is under 16 years of age and it relates to touching of a minor’s body for a sexual purpose.
The 63-year-old first appeared in court February 1 for a bail hearing—MacIntyre resigned from the UCP caucus the day after his first court appearance and resigned from politics in full on February 5 tweeting that it was to “focus on [his] family.”
UCP party leader Jason Kenney released a statement regarding MacIntyre’s charges and his resignation from the party.
"I was shocked and disgusted to learn of the serious criminal charges filed against former MLA Don MacIntyre," reads the statement. "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."
As a result of his hearing McIntyre was released but must follow certain conditions; these include no contact with anyone under 16, and not going within 100 feet of a playground, school, pool, or daycare. He will next appear in court February 15. Global News is reporting that the actions leading to the charges allegedly came from before he was elected in 2015.
In the statement Kenney said that February 2—the day MacIntyre resigned from caucus—was the first time that he and his party learned of the charges. Kenney added that because of the severity of the charges UCP supported the reversal of the publication ban, which was eventually granted.
MacIntyre is probably best known as the outspoken Alberta MLA who repeatedly flirted with openly denying climate change. He was elected to Alberta's legislature for the Wildrose Party in 2015 in the southern Alberta riding of Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, and he joined the UCP upon their formation last year.
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