In 2016, Barry Shpeley displayed the $25,000 in cash he was offering as a reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in relation to his daughter Candace’s 2007 disappearance. (Abbotsford News file photo)

Dad of missing Abbotsford woman charged after allegedly exposing himself in park

Barry Shpeley charged with sexual assault and assault at Hougen Park

A man who has previously been in the media to plead for help to find his missing daughter has been charged with an incident in which he allegedly exposed himself in an Abbotsford park.

Barry Shpeley, 57, faces two charges – sexual assault and assault – related to an alleged incident on Dec. 13.

Shpeley is the father of Candace Shpeley, a 23-year-old single mom of three who has been missing from Abbotsford since March 2007.

Abbotsford Police Sgt. Judy Bird said police received a report on Dec. 13 from a couple who had been sitting in their van – the woman was in the driver’s seat – at Hougen Park on Cole Road in east Abbotsford, when a Volvo parked next to them.

Bird said the Volvo driver got out of the vehicle and opened the passenger door of the van. The Volvo driver’s pants were down and he exposed himself to the couple, she said.

Bird said, as the male passenger got out of the van, the driver of the Volvo rubbed up against him, and the victim then shoved him.

RELATED: Dad offers $25,000 for information related to daughter’s 2007 disappearance

RELATED: Police seek tips on 2007 disappearance of Abbotsford woman

She said the female driver also got out of the van, and the Volvo driver grabbed her upper body. The woman used pepper spray on the suspect, and the pair quickly drove away and called police, Bird said.

Shortly afterwards, another couple pulled into the parking lot and saw a man standing by a vehicle with his pants around his ankles and using a bottle of water to wash his face, Bird said.

An officer arrived, and that couple reported what they had seen.

As the officer was gathering information, he received a report that traffic officers on Highway 1 had pulled over a driver for suspected impaired driving near Yale Road – the second exit past Cole Road.

Bird said the driver and his vehicle matched the descriptions provided by the witnesses at Hougen Park, and the driver admitted that he had been at the park and had been pepper-sprayed.

Shpeley has since been charged and was released from custody on $5,000 bail, according to court records.

He has previously been in the media several times seeking information that could lead to an arrest of the person(s) responsible for his daughter’s disappearance.

On the day she went missing, Candace had gone from Abbotsford to Chilliwack, where she had lunch with her brother at an A & W restaurant.

She visited friends in Surrey that evening, and was scheduled to pick up her kids the following day, but never arrived.

Her green 1995 Pontiac Grand Am was found nine days later in the area of Renfrew Street and 17th Avenue in Vancouver.

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Vikki Hopes | Reporter

@VikkiHopes

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