TV reporter subject of large child sex investigation
A B.C. television reporter facing child sex abuse charges is the subject of a "very large" investigation, and police are searching for more alleged victims.
Veteran Global BC journalist Ron Bencze faces five charges, including two counts of sexual interference with a person under 16 and two of invitation to sexual touching involving a person under 16. The alleged offences involve one alleged victim and date back to 2001, when the child was just six years old.
RCMP Cpl. Drew Grainger told CTV News that the investigation into Bencze is still underway, and more children are being interviewed.
"It's a very large active investigation, which is ongoing," Grainger said. "There's still several witnesses that our serious crimes investigators are still speaking to and we are still trying to determine if there are any other victims that have been identified in this matter."
Bencze, 44, was an assistant coach for Surrey United Soccer Club for the past five years.
He was scheduled to appear in Surrey provincial court on Monday, but a lawyer attended on his behalf instead. His next scheduled court appearance is Feb. 28.
Bencze was charged in January after a brief two-day investigation by police. He has since been suspended from his job at Global BC.
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 as well as a 2005 series on crystal meth.