ESTEVAN - The Estevan Police Service has reached out to the public after the arrest of 35-year-old Joshua Regis LeBlanc on Friday.
As police continue their investigation into the arrest, the EPS wishes to advise those with information regarding these offences or any other offences to contact the Criminal Investigations Unit by calling 306-634-4767.
The EPS says the Southeast Regional Victim Services Unit is available to assist and is an option for residents in southeast Saskatchewan. They can be contacted directly at 306-842-4797.
A search warrant for LeBlanc was executed at a residence in northwest Estevan on May 13 after an investigation conducted by the Criminal Investigation Unit (CIU) of the Estevan Police Service. He was arrested and charged with luring a person under the age of 18, sexual exploitation and sexual assault. All three charges are under the Criminal Code.
Estevan Police Service Deputy Chief Murray Cowan said the complaint about Joshua Regis LeBlanc was received recently, but he didn’t divulge when the incident actually occurred.
“There’s still a lot of work to do with it, including some assistance with the ICE unit out of Saskatoon,” said Cowan.
It’s not known if additional charges will be laid after further investigation.
“We acted on the complaint that was received,” said Cowan.
This investigation is ongoing with assistance from the Saskatchewan Internet Child Exploitation Unit.
LeBlanc had been employed as a teacher until last year. In an email to the Mercury, the South East Cornerstone Public School Division said it is aware that he has been charged with several offences.
“The school division does not know the details of the allegations, but will co-operate with police in any investigation,” deputy director of education Keith Keating said in the email.
The division said LeBlanc was a teacher with the division from 2009-2021. He was employed at the Estevan Comprehensive School from August 2011 until he resigned on June 30, 2021. LeBlanc had not been in the classroom since Sept. 3, 2020.
South East Cornerstone said it is not able to respond to questions of a personal nature regarding any employee. The information would include employment details such as any leaves, suspensions or other absences from work, or any possible disciplinary matters.
Keating wrote that the first priority of the school division is always the safety of its students. The division supports and encourages students to come forward when they have concerns.
“When made aware, the school division takes appropriate action to address any matters of concern,” Keating wrote.
Cowan added that he couldn’t divulge whether LeBlanc was still employed as a teacher when the incident occurred, because he didn’t want to risk identifying the victim.
The ICE Unit’s role is primarily with electronic devices, such as retrieving information from computers, cell phones and more.
“Whenever they’re involved, that’s their area of expertise,” said Cowan.
LeBlanc had been an active member of the community over the years, taking a lead role in many fundraisers and sitting on a number of committees.
He has been released on strict conditions. His next court date is scheduled for July 4.
None of the charges have been proven in court.