Nova Scotia

Ex-priest sentenced more than 5 years for sex offenses

An 83-year-old former Roman Catholic priest, who pleaded guilty to molesting six children decades ago, was sentenced to five and half years in prison in a Yarmouth court on Friday.

Abuse cases date back to the 1970s in Yarmouth area

Disgraced former priest Albert Leblanc arrives for sentencing in Yarmouth, N.S. (Blair Rhodes/CBC)

An 83-year-old former Roman Catholic priest, who pleaded guilty to molesting six children decades ago, was sentenced to five and half years in prison in a Yarmouth court on Friday.

Albert LeBlanc pleaded guilty to six counts of indecent assault in May. Some of the crimes date back to when LeBlanc was a priest in Yarmouth County in the 1970s.

Judge Jim Burrill accepted the Crown and defence's joint sentencing recommendation.

The Crown said at least one case of abuse started when the boy was only 8-years-old. The court heard how Leblanc would entice his underage victims with alcohol and allow them to drive when they were only 13.

Leblanc's victims have filed victim impact statements, but none of them wished to read them aloud in court Friday.

"There will come a day when your child victims muster the courage, no matter what your age, to ensure that silence is broken and you will account for your actions before a court," said Burrill.

LeBlanc was a priest in the Yarmouth diocese from 1955 until 1973, when he resigned and left the priesthood. He got a job as a probation officer.

LeBlanc was charged last year after RCMP received a complaint in 2010. He faced 40 charges initially, accused of sexually abusing children as young as seven in the 1970s and 80s.

Another 10 charges were added later.

now