Priest pleads not guilty

Published November 1, 2004

Canon Ed Coleman of the parish of Hampton, diocese of Fredericton, has pleaded not guilty to charges filed by the Sussex Royal Canadian Mounted Police that he tried to pay a minor for sex on July 1. His trial has been set for early December.

Bishop Claude Miller of Fredericton has placed Mr. Coleman on an “indefinite medical leave of absence” from his parish and diocesan responsibilities.

“I take the report of this alleged incident very seriously,” said Bishop Miller in a statement. “I am deeply concerned for everyone involved during this uncertain time — the alleged victim, Canon Coleman, his family and the congregation of the parish of Hampton.”

Archdeacon Geoffrey Hall, executive assistant to the bishop, said that an internal review is being conducted in line with the diocese’s sexual abuse policy. He also said that Mr. Coleman was undergoing a “treatment program.” He declined to elaborate.

Mr. Coleman, who is also a well-known painter in New Brunswick, is regional dean of the Kingston-Kennebecasis deanery and a member of the diocesan council.


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