Penticton & South Okanagan News
Ex councillor named in sex assault case
A judge decided in a Penticton courtroom, Thursday, there will be no restrictions on the publication of the name of a man who pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault.
Judge Meg Shaw said an expanded publication ban was vacated and an original publication ban was to be continued as ordered.
The accused, who entered the guilty plea on Jan. 29 during an arraignment hearing, is Gary Leaman, a former Penticton city councillor and mayoral candidate.
Shaw reached the decision after Joe Fries, a reporter with the Penticton Western News, made an application in February to publish the man's name and that he pleaded guilty.
Fries claimed the expanded publication ban was a restriction on his right to freedom of speech and he should be given the right to publish the man's name.
He further argued that publishing the man's name acts as a deterrent.
Shaw thanked Fries and said that having reviewed the proper process for an expanded ban that process was not followed.
The names of the complainants cannot be published, in accordance with the original order.
Leaman retired Oct 31 of last year from his job as General Manager of Cherry Lane Mall.
He is a former Penticton City Councillor who ran unsuccessfully for the mayor's chair in 2008.
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