A senior citizen in Peterborough., Ont., who faces dozens of child-sex charges and accusations of sexual assault, forcible confinement and extortion, made numerous covert videos in hockey locker rooms, police say, and it is suspected that he victimized other young people who have not yet stepped forward.
Toronto Police, who aided Peterborough Lakefield Community Police in the investigation after being alerted in November, said the allegations date back to 2003.
James Alex Brunton, 65, was arrested in his home early Monday morning. He is charged with nine offences, chiefly involving the possession and importation of child pornography, that stem from a years-long relationship with a victim who is now 18 and living in the United States.
He was also charged with sexually assaulting, confining and trying to extort money from a complainant who is now 29.
More than half the total of 62 charges against him, however, stem from Mr. Brunton’s involvement with several local junior sports teams with which he worked variously as team manager, secretary and volunteer.
They are the Peterborough Minor Petes AAA Hockey; Peterborough Minor Petes AAA Major Midget; the Lakefield Chiefs Junior Hockey; the Kawartha Komets Special Needs team; and the Junior C Lakers, a lacrosse team.
Multiple charges of voyeurism, possessing and producing child pornography have been laid, alleging Mr. Brunton made covert videos of young boys in dressing rooms during hockey events.
He was also a volunteer with the Telecare Distress Centres of Canada, a crisis-intervention telephone ministry that helps people suffering from acute depression and other mental difficulties, police said.
A dedicated tip line has been created for anyone with information to add to the investigation. It is 416-808-5110.
People in the Peterborough area can also contact Peterborough Lakefield Community Police at 705-876-1122 and speak to Detective Constable Ryan Wilson.
Mr. Brunton appeared in court in Toronto Tuesday.
Police said Mr. Brunton’s involvement with sports teams was extensive. According to the Peterborough Examiner, it began in 1999 when he started volunteering with the Liftlock Stars, a onetime Provincial Junior A hockey team, after retiring from his job as a lab technician at Toronto East General Hospital and moving to Peterborough.
He started as the team’s timekeeper, the Examiner reported, then took charge of the team’s communications and overseeing its website.
At one point he even did the team’s laundry, the paper said, and dressed as Santa Claus at Christmas.
In March of last year, the Liftlock Stars merged with the Lindsay Huskies.
“So ends the era of Junior A hockey in Peterborough,” Mr. Brunton wrote in the Examiner.
“After 14 years with the organization I have made a lot of friendships with the players over the years …
“Not sure if I will miss the long hours I put in or not but will definitely miss working with all the players that have passed through the team. It has been a pure pleasure working with them and I wish them all the success in the world.”