Former Esgenoopetitj chief arrested over alleged sex crimes


first_img(Wilbur Dedam. Government of New Brunswick photo)By Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsThe former chief of Esgenoopetitj was arrested by New Brunswick RCMP officers Wednesday on allegations of committing sex crimes dating back to 1977, APTN National News has learned.Wilbur Dedam, 56, was driving back from a trip to the Miramichi, NB, when he was pulled over by an RCMP cruiser before he reached the boundary of his reserve. An eye-witness said he was handcuffed and put into the back of the RCMP cruiser.Dedam is scheduled to appear in Miramichi provincial court Thursday.The RCMP said in a press statement that officers arrested a 56 year-old man from the community on sex crime allegations. The statement said the crimes dated from 1977 to 1996 and that three alleged victims had stepped forward. The RCMP would not confirm the identity of the individual.The investigation began in March.Dedam was running for a councillor spot on the band council at the time of his arrest.He was at the end of a two year ban preventing him from running for council imposed by former Aboriginal affairs minister John Duncan in 2011.The ban was triggered by an investigation into allegations of corrupt practices by Dedam and other councillors around elections.jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img