The trial for Interior Health’s former chief doctor, charged with sex crimes against a child, started this week in Grande Prairie, Alta.
Dr. Albert de Villiers was arrested in Kelowna in June 2021 for one count of sexual assault and one count of sexual interference stemming from his time in Grande Prairie where he was the province’s north zone lead medical health officer.
RCMP have previously said the offences allegedly occurred between 2018 and 2020.
The trial was moved from provincial to Supreme Court last fall, where De Villiers is scheduled for a three-day trial by judge alone in the Court of King’s Bench.
De Villiers was released on bail with a promise to pay $1,500 if he breaches the conditions of his release. Those conditions include De Villiers having no contact with his alleged victim or the victim’s family and staying away from areas where children under 16 are known to be present, including public parks, swimming areas, community centres, schools and playgrounds. In addition, he surrendered his passport.
Then in August 2022, new charges of sexual touching, voyeurism and making sexually explicit material available to a child were filed against De Villiers.
Police said the new allegations reportedly happened between January 2017 and December 2019 and then surfaced in January 2022, when someone came forward with an additional report of sex offences involving a child. The Grande Prairie Special Investigative Unit conducted the investigation with assistance from Olds RCMP.
The current trial taking place in Grande Prairie is under multiple publication bans.
De Villiers no longer works for Interior Health and the health authority is still yet to comment on the matter.
-With files from Tyler Harper