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Scouts leader accused of sexually exploiting boy

A Richmond man who volunteered with Scouts Canada for about 10 years isaccused of sexually exploiting a boy, Vancouver police announced onThursday.

A Richmond man who volunteered with Scouts Canada for about 10 years is accused of sexually exploiting a boy, Vancouver police announced on Thursday.

Eddie Au has been suspended from Scouts Canada and is facing charges of sexual exploitation and assault stemming from incidents alleged to have occurred between November 2007 and April 2009.

The 34-year-old was also suspended in April of this year for an “unrelated incident.”

Susie Mackie, internal communications specialist with Scouts Canada, said the previous suspension was “completely separate, not sexual.”

“For 10 years there was nothing unusual about this individual,” Mackie said. “Nothing came forward that this person was a problem.

“If someone has been around for that long and there aren’t any problems, it looks like that person is successful in his duties.”

Mackie said that while Au is suspended, he’s not allowed to have contact with the children in his Scout group.

The organization is focusing on co-operating with Vancouver police and is offering counselling to scouts in the group.

Mackie emphasized that Scout’s Canada has a stringent screening process that is used as a model for other volunteer organizations.

Scout leaders are also instructed to follow a “two-deep” leadership police that forbids one-on-one activity between leaders and youth.

“Two leaders must be present at all times,” Mackie said. “That’s to protect the children and to protect the leaders as well.”

Vancouver Police are asking anyone with information to call the Sex Crimes Unit at 604-717-3473 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

None of the allegations against Au have been proven in court.

Au has been released from police custody and is due to appear in court July 6.

 
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