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August 20, 2008 permalink
Winnipeg police constable Kenneth Jack Anderson worked as a sideline for Child and Family Services (CFS) in Manitoba. According to charges, he took the opportunity to sexually exploit the boys in his care.
Winnipeg Free Press, Breaking News
City officer charged with sex assault
By: James Turner, Updated: August 19, 2008 at 08:04 PM CDT
A Winnipeg police constable, lauded for his work with inner-city aboriginal youth, has been charged with sexual assault, sexual exploitation and sexual interference involving two 11-year-old boys.
RCMP major crimes said after being contacted by the Winnipeg police this spring, they opened an investigation into an allegation of sexual abuse by the officer towards one of the boys that police said took place in 2006.
While in the process of investigating that allegation, another surfaced and was alleged to have occurred in the same year involving another 11-year-old, said RCMP spokeswoman Sgt. Line Karpish.
Kenneth Jack Anderson was an employee of CFS for a short time -- believed to be months -- this spring, said Karpish.
Both incidents are alleged to have occurred in rural Manitoba. Police didn't specify where.
The constable, who lives in the town of Balmoral about 80 kilometres north of Winnipeg, was arrested and released July 10 on conditions he have no contact or communication with the alleged victims, nor contact with children under age 18.
Anderson, 47, was formally charged with two counts each of sex assault, sexual interference and sexual exploitation Tuesday. It appears he is not being held in custody.
Karpish couldn't say which outlet of Child and Family Services he worked for.
"This is serious. This is a person in authority," Karpish said of the nature of the charges levelled against the officer.
No further details of the investigation into Anderson's conduct were made available. The identity of the victims is not being released.
Winnipeg police said Anderson has been placed on leave and his employment status is under review. He's due to make a court appearance in Teulon on Oct. 20.
The allegations have not been proven in court.
It's believed Anderson's most recent posting was as a community constable in the Centennial neighbourhood, where he was lauded by residents as a positive influence for the community's youth at a recent community forum at Rossbrook House.
In 2003, Anderson was presented with a certificate of distinction for youth justice policing from the federal government and the Canadian association of police chiefs for co-developing a cultural program for disadvantaged aboriginal boys in Winnipeg's inner city.
The goal of the Aboriginal Cultural Program for Boys is to decrease the risk of criminal involvement for high-risk children aged 7-17 through the promotion of their cultural awareness and identity, according to the department of justice.
Anderson was an active participant in the program, which involved sports-related activities and field trips to first nations ceremonies.
"When you grab onto something that you know is right... it points back to the youth, it's showing them a different way before we can't bring them back, before they end up in the jails," Anderson was quoted as saying at a ceremony honouring award recipients.
The constable also received a community service award in 2007 from aboriginal war veterans, according to the Manitoba Human Rights Commission.
Because Anderson's career was enmeshed in the justice system, the government has hired an independent prosecutor to handle the case against him.
Veteran defence lawyer Robert Tapper has been retained as independent Crown counsel, a justice spokesperson said Tuesday.
Tapper was unavailable for comment.
Source: Winnipeg Free Press