Youth pleads not guilty to nine sex assault charges

A piecemeal trial has been ordered for a youth accused of several sexual assaults, some of which took allegedly place during his involvement with youth organizations in Central Alberta.

A piecemeal trial has been ordered for a youth accused of several sexual assaults, some of which took allegedly place during his involvement with youth organizations in Central Alberta.

The 17-year-old pleaded not guilty to nine charges on Thursday in Red Deer youth court before Judge Gordon Deck.

He can’t be named because of provisions in the Canada Youth Justice Act. His victims’ identities are protected by a court-ordered publication ban.

Represented by defence counsel Kevin Schollie, the youth was dressed in a suit and stood silently as the pleas were entered.

Crown prosecutor Ann MacDonald said the Crown’s case would take about two days. Schollie noted there were several witnesses.

A total of four days, non-consecutive, were scheduled for trial. The trial starts on Jan. 6, 2016, and continues on Jan. 8, 11 and 13.

A pre-trial conference scheduled for this fall may reduce the number of days needed.

On July 7, Red Deer RCMP announced they had laid charges against the youth after a lengthy investigation.

He is charged with five counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual assault with a weapon, one count of performing an indecent act and one count of sexual interference.

In May, RCMP opened the investigation when a victim came forward. An eight-week investigation by members from both the Red Deer RCMP general investigation section and the community policing section identified a four more alleged victims.

The allegations are that between 2011 and 2015, the youth sexually assaulted both male and female youths throughout Central Alberta. Some of the alleged assaults occurred while the victims and the accused were on trips with youth organizations Scouts Canada and Cadets Canada. Other instances occurred unrelated to those organizations.

The specific Cadet and Scout groups can’t be identified because of provisions in the Canada Youth Justice Act. However, the youth participated in Scouts activities between 2007 and 2012 and with Cadets Canada between 2011 and 2015.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

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