Local artist Leo Ducharme is facing a charge of sexual assault against a disabled man

Christian artist charged in brutal sex assault

  • Aug. 23, 2010 6:53 p.m.

A local Christian artist has been charged with sexual assault against a physically disabled man, who police said was afflicted with cerebral palsy and defenceless in a wheelchair.

At about 9:55 a.m. on Aug. 9 Red Deer city RCMP responded to a complaint of a sexual assault at an Oriole Park residence.

RCMP said a parent of the severely disabled 29-year-old man came home to find the care worker sexually assaulting her son.

Red Deer city RCMP Cpl. Kathe DeHeer said the care worker had worked for the family since last October, and was hired to help the parents of the disabled man who requires constant care.

DeHeer said the disabled man has severe cerebral palsy whose life is limited to a wheelchair.

“He has limited mobility as well as limited communications ability. He lives with his parents and requires constant care,” said DeHeer. “He is essentially defenceless in his ability to ward off an incident like this. The aid worker was in a position of authority.”

RCMP has charged 57-year-old Leo Ducharme of Red Deer with one count of sexual assault. On Tuesday, Ducharme was released on $1,000 bail.

Conditions of his release include having no contact with the 29-year-old victim or his parents. He also has to stay five blocks away from the family’s home.

Ducharme also must stay away from persons with disabilities and anyone under the age of 18 unless there is an adult guardian present. He also cannot be in a position of trust.

He has been ordered not to go near playgrounds, parks, recreation centres or schools where children may be present.

Also, Ducharme cannot possess a computer.

Last month the Express wrote a feature story about Ducharme’s quest to be recognized as an accomplished Christian artist.

Originally from Edmonton, Ducharme told the Express that he had an encounter with God while attending Living Stones Church in Red Deer back in 1987.

He said in an interview that his collection of acrylic paintings conveyed Christian symbolism.

Ducharme also said he had a difficult childhood which triggered a pattern of negativity over the years, and a tendency towards depression, which he added lasted for years.

His art was featured this month at The Loft on Gaetz, located at 4920 Gaetz Ave. Officials at the gallery could not be reached for comment

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