Ex-lifeguard pleads guilty to historic sex-assault case 0
Former Vancouver lifeguard Abraham Kiewiet, now 71, is seen in an older photo released by the Vancouver Police Department in November last year during a public appeal for information. (SUBMITTED)
A former lifeguard has pleaded guilty to historic sexual assault allegations dating back to 1971, involving his students during his time as a YMCA coach and a Vancouver Lifeguard School instructor.
According to court records, Abraham Kiewiet pleaded guilty Aug. 23 to four counts of indecent assault on a male — an old Canadian Criminal Code offence defined as touching without consent. It was replaced for offences occurring after 1983 with sexual assault charges.
The Crown said he also pleaded guilty to one count of gross indecency.
The guilty pleas cover the allegations of five victims out of a total of 12 that came forward. All the offences occurred from 1971 to 1986.
Crown spokesman Neil Mackenzie couldn’t provide details on whether a deal was struck between prosecutors and the defence, but said that in some cases guilty pleas weren’t required for all charges to impose an “appropriate” sentence.
“In addition, the circumstances underlying some charges may overlap, in which case the Crown may choose not to proceed in relation to some charges where such an overlap exists,” he said.
Police arrested Kiewiet on Sept. 6, 2013, based on information they had received several months prior. At the time, police said four alleged teen victims, who are now men in their 40s and 50s, came forward, resulting in 10 charges approved by the Crown.
About two months later, more alleged victims began to surface and additional charges were made.
“These men and women should be admired for their courage in coming forward after living with these memories of sexual abuse for the past 25 years,” police Sgt. Matt Clarke said at the time.
The youngest alleged victim, police said, was 11-years-old. The details of the five offences that resulted in guilty pleas, however, are unclear.
Defence counsel couldn’t be reached by press time for comment.
Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 23 in B.C. Provincial Court in Vancouver.