A retired Montreal police officer arrested in December on sex-related charges dating back to the 1970s, died before his case could go to trial, Longueuil police said Tuesday.
Francois Lamarre died Sunday of natural causes at a hospital south of Montreal, police announced in a Facebook post.
Lamarre, 71, had told the court he was ill when he appeared before a judge Dec. 19. He was charged with gross indecency, indecent exposure, sexual assault, sexual touching and invitation to sexual touching, involving four alleged male victims between the ages of nine and 16.
Those allegations were not tested in court. Following Lamarre's arrest in early December, other alleged victims came forward.
Police said the Crown had authorized charges in 16 cases tied to Lamarre.
"The victims who had so far come forward live in Quebec, but also in other provinces of Canada, as well as in England," police said.
The crimes were alleged to have been committed over a 25-year period between 1972 and 1997 at Lamarre's home, in his car, and at arenas. Some of the alleged victims were young hockey players in Greenfield Park, while others lived in Lamarre's neighbourhood in the same Montreal suburb.
Lamarre, who retired from the Montreal police force in 1994, served as a minor hockey coach in Greenfield Park between 1970 and 1980. The former town is now a part of the city of Longueuil.