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Abbotsford Police ordered to turn over records

Court rules that documents related to a sex-assault investigation be given to complainant as part of his civil suit.

The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) has been ordered to turn over records related to allegations that a former RCMP officer and hockey coach sexually abused a teen boy in the 1980s.

The APD conducted an investigation on the matter between 2004 and 2009.

At the time of the allegations, Donald Cooke was the coach of the Abbotsford midget league hockey team on which the alleged victim, now in his 40s, played.

No criminal charges were laid.

The complainant was seeking the police records, through the Supreme Court of Canada, as part of a civil suit against Cooke.

Also arguing for their release was the Abbotsford Hockey Association, which has been named as a defendant in the civil suit.

The association said it needs the documents, which contain information about other people who allege they were sexually assaulted by Cooke, for its defence.

Cooke argued that the records should be withheld because they contain "irrelevant and embarrassing information" about him, and they would allow the plaintiff to tailor his evidence.

The judge ruled that the records be released because they likely contain "very relevant information for one or more of the parties."

Further, the plaintiff has already given detailed on-the-record statements, and would not likely be able to adapt his evidence based on what was in the documents, the judge stated.

Cooke was investigated by police after four B.C. men alleged that he sexually assaulted them at the time they were playing minor hockey in the 1980s.

Crown counsel concluded there was not enough evidence to charge Cooke.

In his statement of claim in the civil suit, Cooke said false allegations of sexual abuse were made by four people whom he kicked off the hockey team because they were in possession of stolen equipment.

Cooke filed his own lawsuit in Ontario in 2010 against the RCMP, claiming mistreatment by the force over the allegations and the investigation, and seeking $13.5 million in compensation.



Vikki Hopes

About the Author: Vikki Hopes

I have been a journalist for almost 40 years, and have been at the Abbotsford News since 1991.
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