More details emerged in a teenage boy’s first court appearance on nine sexual assault charges, including sexual assault with a weapon.
Appearing in Red Deer youth court on Thursday, the 17-year-old boy heard his charges read aloud.
Among the more egregious accusations, he is charged with two counts of sexual assault with a weapon. The charges identify the weapon allegedly used as a knife or an imitation knife.
The accused wore a suit with a red tie and has short hair. He was accompanied by his father.
Duty counsel Amna Qureshi told Judge Gordon Deck that the youth is eligible for legal representation appointed by the Legal Aid Society of Alberta.
Qureshi asked for a one-month adjournment for appointed counsel to obtain disclosure of the charges and review it before making a decision on how to proceed.
Deck granted the adjournment to Aug. 6 in Red Deer youth court. The boy has been released from custody.
The nine charges stem from alleged incidents over a five-year period between 2011 and 2015 in Red Deer, Sylvan Lake, Red Deer County and Edmonton.
He faces five charges of sexual assault, two charges of sexual assault with a weapon and one charge each of committing an indecent act and sexual interference. The indecent act and sexual interference charges allege misconduct with a person under the age of 16. At the time, the accused would have been between the ages of 14 and 17.
He can’t be identified according to the Canada Youth justice Act.
Red Deer RCMP said some of the alleged incidents occurred while the accused and victims were on trips with Scouts Canada and Cadets Canada.
The victims can’t be identified because of a court-ordered publication ban. The same ban protects the specific Cadet and Scout groups the youth was with when the alleged offences occurred.
Police opened the investigation in May 2015 when one of the alleged victims filed a complaint with the RCMP. Following a two-month investigation by the Red Deer RCMP general investigation section and the community policing section, five alleged victims have been identified.
The matter remains under investigation and anyone with information about these alleged incidents is asked to call the Red Deer RCMP at 403-343-5575, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.tipsubmit.com.