Wayne McLeod, left, makes his way to the Brandon courthouse alongside lawyer Robert Patterson on Thursday. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)
In an unusual move, the complainant in a high-profile sexual assault case has waived her right to have her identity protected by the court.
Crown attorney Joanne Maynard informed Judge John Combs that the complainant, who was a youth at the time of the alleged offences, isn’t seeking a publication ban.
"She is now over the age of 18 and she’s not asking the Crown at this point to seek a publication ban," Maynard said in Brandon provincial court on Thursday.
Under Section 486.4 of the Criminal Code, complainants in sexual assault cases are entitled to have their identity protected by a publication ban.
Such a ban would not only forbid the complainant’s name from being printed, it would prevent the printing of any information that could indirectly identify the complainant.
That can include the name of the accused, as it could identify the complainant if they were related or had close ties at the time any alleged offences.
That’s the case here, as the allegations are that a man sexually assaulted and sexually touched a female youth on multiple occasions 14 to 18 years ago.
The man and girl knew each other.
It’s alleged that the assaults were committed at a number of communities during four separate time spans between Dec. 1, 1994 and May 31, 1998.
In court on Thursday, Combs said that he saw no reason for a publication ban if the complainant wasn’t asking for one. That means the accused can now be named.
The accused is Westoba Credit Union president and CEO Wayne George McLeod.
According to a company newsletter, the 64-year-old was recently awarded the 2012 Manitoba Credit Unions Order of Merit. The honour is awarded to those who demonstrate significant commitment to Manitoba credit unions and the communities they serve.
He was also the recipient of the 2002 Brandon Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year award, the 2003 Best Boss Award for promoting mental health in the workplace, and the 2011 Distinguished Co-operator Award.
McLeod is charged with four counts of sexual assault, one count of sexual interference and three counts of sexual exploitation.
Details of the allegations haven’t been presented in court, and the accusations haven’t been proven.
McLeod appeared in court on Thursday as his case was adjourned to an October date. He is out of custody while on bail.
While there is no ban on identifying the complainant, she has asked the Brandon Sun that her name not be published at this point.
That’s consistent with the Sun’s general policy of not identifying sexual assault complainants.
Her precise relationship to the accused at the time of the allegations also won’t be published at this time, as it isn’t yet information that has been presented to the court.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 31, 2012