(Pixabay)

Former B.C. youth hockey coach charged with child porn offences, club says

Former coach at Burnaby Winter Club was arrested, charged and released on conditions

A former coach at a youth hockey club in the Lower Mainland has been released after being charged with child porn offences, the club says.

The coach, who cannot be named because of a publication ban, is charged with possession and distribution of child porn as well as attempting to lure a minor, according to Robert Ward, president of the Burnaby Winter Club’s board of directors.

The accused had worked with the club from August 2018 to last April, when his contract expired. He’d also worked for them for one season back in 2013 as an assistant coach.

There has been no indication if the charges have any connection to the club, Ward said.

He said Port Moody police contacted the organization last week, saying they had arrested, charged and released the man on conditions. He declined to share those conditions, but did say one of them bans the accused from being at or near the club or having any contact with its members.

The club sent a letter to parents on Friday about the charges, saying they were cooperating fully with police.

They also hosted a meeting for parents on Sunday, also inviting the Port Moody police, and spoke to several more parents during the season’s tryouts that weekend.

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Ward told Black Press Media that the club wants to give members as much information as possible because “all of us our parents,” and called the allegations “very disturbing.”

The screening process for new hires is “extremely rigorous,” he added. It includes personal and professional references, a background check, and an online certification course on how to prevent abuse, bullying and harassment.

“There were no lapses in our background or screening,” Ward said. “We never had a single complaint about this coach. His year-end coaching surveys from the families were all positive.”

Port Moody police have not returned a request for comment.



laura.baziuk@bpdigital.ca

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