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Ex-Vancouver lifeguard should get four years for sex assaults: Crown 0

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

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)

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)

An ex-Vancouver lifeguard who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting five boys entrusted to his care should receive four years in prison, the provincial Crown recommended Monday.

Abraham Kiewiet had been trusted as a "father figure" to some boys and as an older brother or mentor by others, Crown prosecutor Kimberly Turnbull said.

The 71-year-old was charged with a slew of offences after one of his victims came forward in 2011 for historic allegations from the 1970s.

Police eventually found more victims — all former swimming students — who were sexually assaulted when Kiewiet was a swim instructor between the ages of 29 and 43.

His victims were all between 13 and 15, the Crown said.

However, Turnbull said Kiewiet continues to believe that, at the time, "He did not realize what he was doing was wrong," and uses his sexual orientation as "an excuse for his offending behaviour."

"He befriended families, the mothers of the young boys, and was entrusted to take care of the children," she said.

In a victim impact statement, one described how he had lost all concept of "sex as personal or private or loving or beautiful," after the offences.

Several victims thought they were the only one.

Defence lawyer Joel Whysall argued a conditional sentence would serve as Kiewiet has already been deterred from reoffending by the fact that he’s been prosecuted.

“He’s been branded for life,” he told the judge, adding Kiewiet has never before been to jail. His criminal record, prior to the guilty plea, was clean.

“These articles go online and never get removed … society has already stigmatized him as a sex offender.”

The sentencing continues on Jan. 8.

 

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