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The Globe and Mail

New sex assault charges levied against former Vancouver lifeguard

Abraham Kiewiet, in photos displayed for the media by Vancouver Police.


An elderly Vancouver man is facing nearly two dozen charges stemming from allegations he sexually assaulted numerous children while working as a lifeguard in the 1970s.

Abraham "Abe" Kiewiet, now 70, is facing 22 charges in relation to 10 victims, both male and female, who were between the ages of 11 and 17 at the time of the offences, said Vancouver police Constable Brian Montague.

The charges comprise eight counts of indecent assault on a male, three counts of indecent assault on a female and eleven counts of gross indecency. Such charges were replaced with "sexual assault" under the Criminal Code of Canada in 1983, but were in place at the time of Mr. Kiewiet's alleged offences.

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The Vancouver Police Sex Crimes Unit launched the investigation in June after receiving information about Mr. Kiewiet. He was arrested on Sept. 5, on charges relating to the alleged assaults against four boys, and again on Wednesday in light of six more people coming forward.

Investigators believe there are more victims – both locally and outside of British Columbia – and are urging them to come forward. In assisting those who might not recognize Mr. Kiewiet by name, police on Friday released two photos of him believed to be from the 1970s.

The alleged offences to date occurred between 1971 and 1982, while Mr. Kiewiet worked as a lifeguard for the Vancouver Park Board, investigators say. At that time, he taught at the Vancouver Lifeguard School and volunteered as a coach at a YMCA aquatic safety program.

Mr. Kiewiet has been released on several conditions, which include not to be in an area where children may be found – such as playgrounds, schools and community centres – and not to seek employment or volunteer work that involves being in a position of trust or authority to over anyone under the age of 18. He is scheduled to appear in court next month.

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