Former teacher charged with sex assault

A former teacher and longtime Swansea volunteer is facing indecency and assault charges following an investigation that began in November.

Police allege Norman Neil McLeod, 71, sexually assaulted boys age 11 to 15, between 1965 and 1979. The accused reportedly met the boys through his roles as a Scout leader and as a schoolteacher at Swansea Public School.

McLeod is facing 11 counts of indecent assault on a male, eight counts of gross indecency, assault, two counts of failing to comply with recognizance.

McLeod was heavily involved in the community, serving for years as a volunteer member of the Swansea Town Hall’s board of management.

After learning of the charges, McLeod was asked to resign from the board, which he did immediately, said Ed Gaigalas, executive director of the Swansea Town Hall. McLeod has also stepped down from his role as president of the Swansea Historical Society, a position he held for more than 20 years.

Gaigalas said some members of the community are shocked by the news.

“I’m hearing quite a few different reactions, obviously I’ve been following the news because it hit us rather suddenly,” Gaigalas said. “For the most part, a lot of people are surprised.”

He added the Swansea Town Hall’s board of management has been cooperative with police since they contacted them.

As a former staffer at Swansea Town Hall, Parkdale-High Park councillor Sarah Doucette worked with McLeod before leaving to run for council in 2010. She says she’s been receiving mixed reactions from people who worked with McLeod and other community members.

“A lot of the members of the historical society are in absolute shock, because they don’t live in Swansea so this was all news to them,” Doucette said.

Detective Leslie Morris of 22 Division said police initially laid charges back in November after a complainant came forward to police.

“Since that time, more people have come forward,” Morris said.