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The Alberta Legislature is seen in Edmonton, Alberta on Friday March 28, 2014. An Alberta United Conservative MLA who resigned abruptly is facing charges of sex assault and sexual interference with a minor. Don MacIntyre was charged last week, but the case had been put under a sweeping publication ban that was lifted today by a Red Deer judge.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

The Canadian Press

An Alberta United Conservative legislature member who resigned abruptly is facing charges of sex assault and sexual interference with a minor.

Don MacIntyre was charged last week, but the case had been put under a sweeping publication ban that was lifted Friday by a Red Deer judge.

MacIntyre, who is 62, was a first-term legislature member for the constituency of Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, in central Alberta. He was elected for the Wildrose party in 2015 and later joined the merged United Conservative Party.

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He left caucus Feb. 2 and formally resigned his seat Monday, just days after the charges were laid.

He could not be reached for comment Friday. He has not made a public statement on the matter except for a tweet on Feb. 2.

"Hi folks," he posted. "Resigning from politics today to focus on our family. Thanks everyone!"

United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney said in a statement that he and the party were unaware of the investigation until MacIntyre phoned them Feb. 2 to say he had been charged and was resigning.

"I was shocked and disgusted to learn of the serious criminal charges filed against former MLA Don MacIntyre," wrote Kenney. "There are few crimes more vile than sexual crimes against children.

"Our thoughts at this time are with the victim, who I hope will have strength and courage in the months and years ahead."

Kenney said that the United Conservatives supported a court application to lift the publication ban on MacIntyre's name.

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Justice Glen Poehlman agreed Friday with arguments that the justice of the peace who originally ordered the sweeping ban had made an error in law.

MacIntyre was the party’s critic for electricity and renewables.

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