May trial date for convicted sex offender rearrested on new charges

CALGARY — A sex offender with convictions in Alberta dating back decades has pleaded not guilty to a new charge following his arrest last week.

Erik Wanamaker, 69, appeared in a Calgary court Monday after allegedly breaching a condition under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act that he keep his address up to date. He’s accused of failing to tell authorities where he’s been living since 2015.

A trial date has been scheduled for May 15 in provincial court.

Wanamaker, who is in custody and appeared in court via closed-circuit television, also faces charges related to the alleged theft of a credit card.

He was put on the national sex offender registry in 2011 due to multiple convictions — including sexual offences against a young girl.

Wanamaker was convicted in 1992 for sex offences involving children and for obstruction of justice. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Wanamaker and another inmate at the Bowden Institution federal penitentiary in Alberta escaped in 1998. The two were arrested after a 14-year-old Bowden-area girl was abducted and taken to Chain Lakes Provincial Park southwest of Calgary.

A judge found Wanamaker not guilty of abduction and sexual assault at a trial in 1999, but the escape earned the convict an additional six months in custody.

When he was released in May 2004, the police alerted the public and issued a warning about Wanamaker’s history of targeting girls between 10 and 14 years old.

He was charged in 2006 for looking at child pornography on a laptop computer at Calgary’s Olympic Plaza near a public event attended by children. He was convicted of one count of possession of child pornography and was released from prison again in 2008.

He is banned for life from any place where there may be children — including playgrounds and swimming areas.

Wanamaker is to be back in court March 19 to set a date for a bail hearing.

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