BURNABY (NEWS 1130) – A Burnaby man is facing a slew of charges in relation to a reported sexual assault involving a child and a weapon.
Mounties in Burnaby say the girl and her mother showed up at an RCMP detachment in another city on May 7 to report the assault to police. The girl, whose age has not been released, apparently met a man online before she met him in person and was assaulted by him.
The Burnaby RCMP was made aware of what happened and took over the investigation. The child abuse and sex offences unit later arrested a suspect.
The unnamed man has been charged with with sexual assault with a weapon, sexual interference, luring a child, possession of a restricted weapon, and using a firearm in the commission of an offence. He remains in custody, according to RCMP.
An awful case. The man has been charged with:
*Sexual assault with a weapon
*Luring a child
*Possession of a restricted weapon
*Using a firearm in the commission of an offence
— Sonia Aslam (@SoniaSAslam) June 9, 2020
The ages of the girl and suspect, as well as details that led to the charges are covered by a publication ban to protect the girl’s identity.
“There’s a publication ban, so we’re not allowed to say almost anything about the case itself,” Burnaby RCMP Cpl. Mike Kalanj said.
He added the girl is coping as best she can, and she and her family are receiving support through the RCMP’s Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Unit.
Mounties are urging parents to talk to their kids about the dangers of communicating online and through social media.
“Kids are online constantly, especially now with what’s going on in the world. We just need parents and families to be cognizant of who they’re chatting with, and they need to be trusted people online,” Kalanj said.
“As a father and as an uncle, these conversations need to happen on an ongoing basis. They can’t just happen when an incident like this occurs. As uncomfortable as they are, they are very important conversations to have.”
He also advised parents and guardians to get familiar with digital platforms, what they are, how to use them safely, and to teach those lessons to their children.
“Just get to know them,” Kalanj added.
He also applauded investigators in the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Unit, who deal with information that many would never want to discuss.
“I will say the members in that unit do extraordinary work.”