A B.C. Scout leader charged with sexual exploitation for incidents involving children had already been suspended from the organization for a separate complaint, according to Scouts Canada.

Richmond resident Eddie Au served as a volunteer with the children's organization in the Vancouver-area for more than 10 years.

Police allege the 34-year-old had contact with a child "in a sexual manner" while working as a Scout Leader. He has been charged one count each of sexual exploitation and sexual assault.

Cst. Lindsey Houghton of the Vancouver Police said the investigation was initiated last month.

"In early May individuals close to the family came forward and we immediately began an investigation," Houghton said.

The alleged incidents took place between November 2007 and April 2009, when Au is accused of inappropriately touching one of his Scouts.

Lisa Nowlan, director of communications for Scouts Canada, said Au was suspended from Scouts Canada for an "unrelated complaint" before they heard about Thursday's charges. She says they are shocked and saddened by the news.

"This is very distressing news for all involved," Nowlan said in a statement sent to ctvbc.ca.

"It's upsetting for parents, for the youth in our programs, and for the thousands of wonderful, dedicated volunteers across the country who constantly put the interests of the youth in their care above everything. We have confidence in the justice system and we rely on it to ensure that appropriate action is taken in a situation like this."

Au's membership in Scouts Canada has been revoked.

Nowlan says the organization will not be commenting on the case because it is an ongoing investigation, but they will be working in close contact with the Vancouver Police.

Cst. Houghton says there is a possibility more charges will be laid against Au, and are appealing to anyone who may have information to come forward.

"We're talking about information that goes back more than 10 years," he said.

Au has been released from police custody and is due to appear in court July 6.

The B.C. Scout program involves boys aged 11 to 14 in camping and conservation activities. The organization emphasizes having fun while "encouraging youth to feel good about themselves, their friends and family, God, and the environment."

All employees and volunteers of Scouts Canada undergo multiple screening processes, including interviews and reference checks, before joining the organization. Volunteers must also complete a criminal record check every three years.

Vancouver Police are asking anyone with information about the case to call the Sex Crimes Unit at 604-717-3473 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.