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Trial underway for P.E.I. man accused of sexually assaulting two teenage boys in 2001


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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — A jury trial has begun in P.E.I. Supreme Courtroom for a person charged with sexually assaulting two teenage boys in 2001.

The accused – John (Jan) Vanderzwaag, 44 – is dealing with two counts of sexual assault and one depend of sexual interference with respect to 2 male complainants.

A publication ban is in place stopping the discharge of data that might determine the complainants.

The trial started on Sept. 11 and included jury choices and directions from the choose.

On Sept. 12, Crown legal professional Lisa Goulden referred to as members of the alleged victims’ household to testify in regards to the allegations.

One of many victims’ siblings advised the court docket that in 2001, members of the family gathered at their dwelling and had been knowledgeable by the boys in regards to the alleged sexual assaults the earlier evening at a sleepover at Vanderzwaag’s residence.

It was acknowledged in court docket that the residence was owned by Vanderzwaag’s mother and father. On the time of the alleged offences, Vanderzwaag was 22 years outdated. The complainants had been each youngsters on the time, together with one who was below the age of 16.

The household knew Vanderzwaag via the Christian Reformed Church in Charlottetown. The household attended the church and Vanderzwaag was a youth group chief. Vanderzwaag was additionally a pal of the household.

After listening to the allegations from the boys, the household contacted the church’s pastor and ultimately met with elders.

The sibling testified that church elders advised the household that they might examine the allegations and to not contact the police.

The court docket heard that sooner or later afterwards, the household obtained a letter from the church calling them liars. The letter additionally demanded a full apology to the church and Vanderzwaag. Consequently, the household stopped attending the church, the sister stated.

Vanderzwagg’s lawyer Brian Ross advised to the sister that the church didn’t inform the household to not name the police. Quite, he stated that the household needed the church to research so the allegations would not turn out to be public. The sibling denied that suggestion.

Ultimately, the issues had been reported to police and Vanderzwaag was charged. The choose presiding over the jury trial is John Mitchell.

The trial is scheduled to conclude on Sept. 22.

Terrence McEachern is a justice reporter with SaltWire in Prince Edward Island. He could be reached by electronic mail at [email protected] and could be adopted on X @terry_mcn.

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