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February 22, 2012

Former Read Parish Priest Charged

by Belleville Intelligencer

Provincial police have charged a Roman Catholic priest who once served as parish priest in Read in connection to an incident dating to 2004.

Rene Paul Emile Labelle, 62, of Seeleys Bay, was charged Monday with sexual assault, sexual exploitation and invitation to sexual exploitation.

The charges relate to an incident alleged to have happened to a man who was a teenage boy in the summer of 2004.

Labelle was released from custody on a promise to appear.

Labelle is a long-time fixture in Kingston's Roman Catholic community. He was ordained by the Archdiocese of Kingston in 1977.

He worked as a priest chaplain for three days a week at Holy Cross Secondary School in Kingston, where he provided priestly ministry to the school community including confession, spiritual counselling and daily mass in the school chapel. He had served in Read in the 1980s and 1990s.

In late January, Labelle voluntarily stepped down from his St. Barnaby Catholic Church parish because of alleged involvement in “inappropriate activity.”

After stepping down from his parish, he was also withdrawn from his role at the high school.

Labelle is scheduled to appear in the Ontario Court of Justice in Kingston on March 27.

Police say the investigation is continuing.

Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact the Leeds County OPP Crime Unit at 613-345-1790 or 1-888-310-1122.

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