A judge in Red Deer, Alta., has lifted a publication ban that prevented media from reporting that former Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Don MacIntyre resigned from the United Conservative Party caucus and the legislature after being charged with sexual interference and sexual assault.
According to court records, MacIntyre appeared in court in Red Deer on Feb. 1 to face those charges. His next court appearance is set for Feb. 15.
MacIntyre first resigned as a member of the UCP caucus on Feb. 2 and then resigned his seat on Feb. 5.
According to Canada's Criminal Code, sexual interference is a charge that applies in the case of a person who touches, directly or indirectly, a part of the body of someone under 16 years of age for a sexual purpose.
Justice Glenn Poelman, who overturned the publication ban put in place by a justice of the peace, said it "was an error in law" and would "seriously infringe … freedom of press to report on proceedings of court."
UCP Leader Jason Kenney released a statement following the lifting of the ban.
"I was shocked and disgusted to learn of the serious criminal charges filed against former MLA Don MacIntyre," it reads.
"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."
MacIntyre was granted bail pending a trial, but faces multiple conditions, including:
Originally from North Battleford, Sask, MacIntyre is married and was elected to the legislature in 2015 with the Wildrose Party.
Prior to that, the 63-year-old was a part-time instructor for the alternative energy program at NAIT, and worked as the chief technical officer for a private overseas geothermal company.
MacIntyre was criticized by the NDP last year after he suggested that science hasn't conclusively proven that climate change is a man-made problem.