Former Grande Prairie and Kelowna well being official sentenced to five 1/2 years for sexually abusing little one

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A former well being official in Alberta and B.C. has been sentenced to five-and-a-half years in jail for sexually abusing a younger boy.

Dr. Albert de Villiers, 54, acquired the sentence in a Grande Prairie courtroom Tuesday from Court docket of King’s Bench Justice Shaina Leonard, who discovered him responsible earlier this 12 months of sexually interfering with the son of a household good friend who was seven when the abuse started.

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De Villiers molested the boy on 5 to eight events over two years, exhibiting him pornography and instructing him to the touch his penis. Leonard stated de Villiers — a former Grande Prairie-based senior medical officer with Alberta Well being Companies — was ready of belief and groomed the sufferer by isolating him from his household.

De Villiers later moved to Kelowna to function Inside Well being’s chief medical officer of well being. On the time of his arrest in 2021, de Villiers was the face of the well being authority’s COVID-19 vaccine marketing campaign. He goes to trial in Grande Prairie subsequent August on three separate little one intercourse abuse prices.

De Villiers met the sufferer’s mother and father in 2018 and have become a detailed household good friend. He performed Lego with the sufferer and bonded with him over a shared curiosity in images. Over time, he started to have one-on-one interactions with the boy, together with sleepovers on the house de Villiers owned along with his spouse. He advised the boy to maintain the abuse a secret, telling him he would go to jail if anybody came upon.

The sufferer — whose identify is roofed by a publication ban — reported the abuse to his mother and father in June 2021. The mother and father went to police and blocked de Villiers on social media. Anxious, de Villiers known as the daddy and left an ambiguous voicemail through which he apologized.

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Crown prosecutor Amber Pickrell argued the voicemail was an apology for molesting the boy. De Villiers, nonetheless, maintained he was asking forgiveness for making an attempt to mum or dad the kid. Leonard finally agreed with the Crown’s interpretation.

At a sentencing listening to Monday, Pickrell stated de Villiers ought to serve eight years in jail. Defence lawyer Chris Millsap (lately appointed a justice of the Court docket of King’s Bench) argued for 4 years.

Leonard settled between the 2. She famous de Villiers acquired 28 letters of assist from buddies, household and colleagues, however gave them little weight.

“He was a extremely revered physician, an lively member of his spiritual group, and a good friend to many,” Leonard stated. Nevertheless, prior good character is of  “questionable relevance to offences dedicated in secrecy,” she stated.  

As for his threat of reoffending, Leonard stated she may make no conclusions past saying it’s “not zero.” She stated he has supplied no clarification for his crimes or undergone any counselling.

The abuse had a critical, lasting impression on the sufferer, Leonard added. He advised courtroom his coronary heart “turned black” when de Villiers confirmed him the pornography, and later complained of coronary heart ache to his mother and father. Docs discovered nothing bodily improper with him.

De Villiers begins one other trial on prices voyeurism, making sexually specific materials accessible to a baby and invitation to sexual touching Aug. 22.