Chilliwack youth basketball coach charged with sexual interference
Published Wednesday, February 14, 2018 4:08PM PST
Last Updated Thursday, February 15, 2018 7:07PM PST
Police are asking parents to speak to their children following the arrest of a man who has been involved in youth sports in Chilliwack, B.C. for more than a decade.
Richard Codie Hindle, who also goes by Codie Anderson, appeared in court Wednesday on charges including sexual interference with a minor.
Police have provided few details on the charge, but said the offence he is alleged to have committed dated back to 2011. The arrest was made following an investigation that began with allegations of sexual assault reported to police two years ago.
The 35-year-old has been involved with youth and youth sports in Chilliwack since 2005, Mounties said in a statement.
He coached basketball at a local leisure centre and at local elementary and middle schools, they said. He has also overseen overnight programs, camping trips and a sports academy.
Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz said Hindle wasn't an employee of the city, but that he'd worked for a contractor the city had hired called Leisure Recreation. He was employed with the company from 2009 to 2011, when the company became aware of allegations and he was fired.
He has not had a job working for the city or a city contractor since being dismissed. Leisure Recreation, which ran recreational activities at various locations in the city, is no longer the city's contractor, she added.
Gaetz did not know whether the RCMP were contacted at that time, but Mounties said their investigation began following a report in 2016.
The recreation company did a criminal record check when Hindle was hired, Gaetz said, "and nothing came up."
Chilliwack offers free background checks for not-for-profit organizations operating in the city, she said.
"In this case, there's someone who was not charged, who somehow has slipped through the cracks and we're finding out that he has been charged and we're taking it very seriously."
The mother of the alleged victim said it's important for parents of children who may have had contact with the suspect to listen to their kids.
"Please, please have a conversation with your kids and believe what they're telling you," she said.
Both the mayor and police echoed that advice, saying there may be other victims.
"Parents should be concerned. Any time you hear any story from your child about any kind of sexual allegations, believe your child. Take it forward to the RCMP," Gaetz said.
"We care about kids in our community and we want them to be safe."
Mounties encouraged parents of those who may have interacted with Hindle to talk to their children about any type of contact.
Anyone with more information, or who believes they or someone they know may have been a victim, is asked to contact the RCMP's Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment and quote file number 2016-6735.
Victims outside the Chilliwack area are asked to contact their local police, and those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).