Global BC reporter suspended over child sex charges
Published Wednesday, January 19, 2011 8:48PM PST
A veteran Global BC news reporter accused in a string of sex offences against a minor has been suspended with pay and ordered to stay away from his own children.
Ron Bencze, 44, was charged Tuesday after a brief two-day investigation by police. The married father-of-three must adhere to a number of strict bail conditions, including not having contact with any young person or go anywhere attended by people under 16, including parks, community centres or schools.
He is not allowed to return to his Cloverdale home and has been ordered to reside with a relative in Langley.
Global BC news director Ian Haysom said he is now off the job.
"Ron has stated he will vigorously defend himself against the charges. We are unable to make any further comment," Haysom said in a statement emailed to CTV News.
Haysom said the station "is very concerned" about the accusations.
Bencze, who was an assistant coach for Surrey United Soccer Club for the past five years, has been removed from the association's website.
In a statement, a spokesperson told CTV News they are shocked and surprised by the allegations, saying: "We have notified Mr. Bencze that he has been suspended from all soccer-related activities with our club and district association until further notice."
Bencze is facing five charges of sexual assault against a single victim, including two counts of sexual interference with a person under 16 and two of invitation to sexual touching involving a person under 16.
The offences span the years 2001 to 2011, starting when the victim was just six years old, police say.
Although only one victim has been identified, RCMP haven't ruled out further charges.
"The investigation is ongoing into the one victim we have identified," Cpl. Drew Grainer said. "Of course in incidences like this we are always looking for any other information that might be related to that victim or other victims that haven't come forward yet."
The longtime broadcaster started his nearly two decade media career in his hometown of Kamloops, where he produced and hosted a children's variety show.
He joined Global BC in August 2004 and has since won accolades for his work on the Robert Pickton serial killer trial and a 2005 series on crystal meth.
The accused is scheduled for a next court appearance on Feb. 7.