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Port Moody mayor says he has been 'exonerated' of sex assault charge, will return to work Monday

Last Updated Nov 14, 2019 at 11:57 am PDT

FILE - Port Moody Mayor Rob Vagramov speaks at a news conference after he was charged with sexual assault, on Thursday, March 28, 2019. (CityNews Vancouver) (CityNews)

Port Moody Mayor Rob Vagramov says he has been "exonerated" of a sex assault charge

Vagramov said he plans to be back at work Monday

PORT MOODY (NEWS 1130) – The Mayor of Port Moody claims he has been “exonerated” and says he will return to work on Monday, after a sex assault charge against him was stayed.

At a news conference on Thursday, Rob Vagramov said the incident, which happened in 2015, came out of an “awkward date.”

The mayor took a voluntary leave of absence in March when he was charged with the sexual assault stemming from an alleged incident in Coquitlam in 2015. He briefly returned to work in September, but Port Moody city council voted to ask him to go back on leave in October.

Earlier this week, the special prosecutor said Vagramov had completed an alternative measures program and the charge had been stayed. That means the charges were terminated before a finding of guilt or innocence, and the prosecution is no longer pursuing it.

Vagramov said he apologized to the complainant in March, and again recently as part of the alternative measures program, for what happened.

“It was never my intention to leave her with any kind of negative impression,” he said.

“I am happy to live in a place where people’s reports are taken seriously by the justice system, where no one lives above the law and being an elected official means more scrutiny from the justice system, not less, and where the justice system is able to distinguish predatory behaviour from awkward dates that could have benefited from more communication.”

Vagramov said he plans to be back at work Monday.