Prince Rupert Fellowship Baptist Church (PRF) has fired associate pastor Nathan Legault following his arrest for alleged online criminal interactions with underage teenage girls.
“Mr. Legault has been relieved of his duties at PRF and his employment immediately terminated. He is not permitted to return to the church building,” Herb Pond, board chair of the church, told The Northern View in an emailed statement on Aug. 3.
Pond stated that the RCMP served search warrants concurrently at the church building and Legault’s personal residence on July 23 in conjunction with an investigation into alleged online interaction with underage girls.
“The search warrants authorized the RCMP to search all electronic devices capable of accessing the internet as well as storage devices,” Pond stated. “Mr. Legault was taken into custody and held overnight. He was released the following day with restrictions pending a court appearance later this year.
“We wholeheartedly condemn sexual abuse in all its form, and we stand in support of all victims.
“It’s our current understanding that there is no overlap between the alleged criminal activities and our church ministries, but we remain vigilant.”
Legault was employed by Prince Rupert Fellowship, a self-funded, self-organized church body, operating as a provincially registered not-for-profit, from May 2019 to July 24, 2021.
The statement issued by the church outlines that it has dedicated thousands of hours to volunteering in the operations of various ministries to seniors, parents, youth, and children, as well, it participates actively in community events such as Seafest and Children’s Fest.
The PRF website posted a statement announcing the termination.
“We must report to you the immediate termination of Nathan Legault from our church’s employment,” PRF stated.
“Circumstances do not currently permit us to disclose details on our website at this time. However, we want to remain completely transparent with our church and community. If anyone — member or nonmember, church participant or community resident—has any questions, feel free to call our board chair …”
The Prince Rupert RCMP refused to comment on the case and allegations citing the ongoing investigation.
“The Prince Rupert RCMP will not be commenting further on this matter in order to maintain and preserve the integrity of this investigation,” Cpl. Madonna Saunderson told The Northern View. “At this time charges have not been sworn. Because of this we are not in a position to comment on the investigation.”