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Newfoundland school principal charged with historic Alberta sex offences against young person

A former teacher in Alberta now living in Newfoundland has been charged with sexual offences dating back to 1994 and 1996, when he was working in the Fort Vermilion School Division.

Offences are alleged to have occurred between 1994 and 1996, RCMP say

George Sheppard, 51, has been placed on leave from his job as principal at Fortune Bay Academy in St. Bernard's, N.L., the school district says. (Twitter)

A former teacher in Alberta who is now the principal of a school in Newfoundland has been charged with sexual offences against a young person dating back to the mid-1990s, when he was working in the Fort Vermilion School Division.

Alberta RCMP say George Sheppard, 51, of St. Bernard's, N.L., is charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of a young person, invitation to sexual touching, sexual interference and sexual assault.

The charges stem from a complaint made of offences alleged to have occurred between 1994 and 1996, RCMP said in a news release.

Sheppard is principal of Fortune Bay Academy in St. Bernard's, about 270 kilometres west of St. John's.

A spokesperson for the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District said officials became aware Friday that an employee has been charged with offences in Alberta.

"The employee has been placed on leave and will not be involved in any school activities," district spokesperson Ken Morrissey said in an emailed statement.

"The safety of our students is the priority of the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District and we take this matter extremely seriously."
Fortune Bay Academy in the town of St. Bernard's, NL, some 270 kilometres west of St. John's. (Newfoundland & Labrador English School District website)

Mike McMann, superintendent of the Fort Vermilion School Division, told CBC News on Friday that Sheppard had been a teacher at one of the division's schools in the 1990s. 

McMann said the division will not disclose the name of the school, nor any further details, out of "respect for the alleged victim and their family."

McMann said the school division is co-operating with the RCMP.

Sheppard is due in Fort Vermilion provincial court on Dec. 5.

@natashariebe

About the Author

Natasha Riebe

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Natasha Riebe landed at CBC News in Edmonton after radio, TV and print journalism gigs in Halifax, Seoul, Yellowknife and on Vancouver Island. Please send tips in confidence to natasha.riebe@cbc.ca.