Berwick residents brace for return of sex offender

The return of a convicted sex offender to Berwick has residents in the community concerned.

Terrance Leger served more than two years for sexual interference with boys in rural community

The return of a convicted sex offender to Berwick has residents in the community concerned.

About 50 area residents showed up to a meeting Tuesday night at the Millstream Recreation Centre to express their concern and learn more about Terrance Leger's return to the community.

Tony Nyenhuis says people make take matters into their own hands when a convicted sex offender moves back to Berwick. (CBC)
Leger has finished serving more than two years in prison for three counts of sexual interference with children and is now free to live where he chooses. He is moving back to Berwick, where the previous incidents took place.

Leger had served a previous sentence for sexual assault of a boy.

The parole board believes Leger poses a serious risk to reoffend.

Tony Nyenhuis told the meeting Leger won't be welcomed back to the community.

"Somebody is going to come and take it into their own hands," said Nyenhuis. "When something happens they are going to be the ones in trouble. And I, for one, am going to root for them."

Nyenhuis says he has known Leger for more than 20 years.

"I was just blown away," he said. "I've got some very close friends and family that were affected years ago by this gentleman. Gentleman is being way too nice to call him."

In a rare move, the RCMP requested conditions be imposed on Leger's movements and that request was granted. Those conditions include:

  • He not be within 100 metres of children who congregate in places;
  • He not go into a mall unless it's on business;
  • He report to the RCMP every Wednesday by phone
  • He be home between midnight and 6 a.m.
Debbie Muir says everyone in Berwick will be vigilant watching Terrance Leger's movements. (CBC)
Leger agreed to the conditions.

David Mantin of the Sexual Abuse Network of Canada addressed the meeting and urged a calm approach.

"Document when you see him in these places," he said. "If you have a camera phone, take a picture and call the RCMP."

Resident Debbie Muir said about the only positive thing with the situation is that with Leger in Berwick, at least everyone in the area knows who he is.

"Everyone is vigilant. Everyone knows he's there. He is being watched like a hawk," said Muir. "The man cannot move without being seen now.

"If they get him out of there, he's going to go somewhere, and he's going to grab the first child he sees."