Jason Alan Obert walks away from the Creep Catchers camera crew and into the Sevenoaks Shopping Centre parking lot after being filmed Oct. 14, 2016.

Former Mission principal claims he was ‘researching’ Creep Catchers, after being filmed in child-luring sting

Teacher Regulation Branch finds Jason Alan Obert’s explanation ‘not plausible’

A former Mission principal claims he was just doing “research” into Creep Catchers when he was filmed attempting to meet up with two underage girls at an Abbotsford mall in 2016.

The province’s Teacher Regulation Branch panel did not accept his explanation, and determined his conduct was unbecoming for a teacher.

“The Respondent’s explanation that his conduct was at best innocent personal research and at worst, flirtatious texting as part of role playing, is not plausible,” the panel found. “The Commissioner’s evidence is clear, convincing and cogent.”

Jason Alan Obert, formerly the principal of Windebank Elementary School, said the reason he was texting and attempting to meet up with two “girls” was research for a fictional or non-fictional book about Creep Catchers.

Creep Catchers is a vigilante group which creates fictitious online personas to attempt to lure predatory men into exposing themselves in meet-ups with minors.

Obert was filmed in one such sting by the group in October 2016 after he began texting two personas named Sara and Hannah on the website Skout. They told him they were aged 15 and 14, respectively.

These characters were actually the creation of Chelsea Bullon, the founder of the Fraser Valley Creep Catchers.

Throughout the month-long messaging prior to the meet-up, Obert offered liquor and marijuana, repeatedly asked for pictures, asked personal and sexualized questions, and attempted to meet in person with them a total of three times.

Chat logs of these conversations, which occurred through the TextNow app as well as Skout, were presented to the panel.

Obert claims that he knew the recipients of his messages were not, in fact, minors and he was communicating with a member of the Creep Catchers.

He claimed that messages were deleted by Bullon which showed both parties knew they were “role playing,” but provided no evidence to support his claim.

In the text messages provided as evidence to the panel, Obert is clearly nervous about the meetings at the Sevenoaks Shopping Centre, and the authenticity of who he was texting.

“Ya ur a cop or something; Why would u call a cab just wait til Hannah’s Mom comes,” he said, during a failed meet-up attempt on Oct. 2 at the mall.

“Lol not sure u two are real; Lol; Both so shy about pics lol,” he says in a message the following day.

After Obert was eventually filmed and confronted by the Creep Catchers on Oct. 14 at the same mall, he fled, and the video was posted to YouTube a few days later.

The Abbotsford Police Department began investigating the incident soon after.

The video came to the attention of the Mission School District after a vice-principal showed it to Mission school district superintendent Angus Wilson.

Obert was immediately suspended and replaced as principal of Windebank Elementary after Wilson held emergency meetings with school trustees and parents. Obert was fired by the district in December 2016.

The Abbotsford Police’s investigation led to a charge of child luring in November 2016. The charges were eventually stayed in the summer of 2017, and Obert was instead placed on a nine-month recognizance with strict conditions.

As proof of his intention to write a book about the Creep Catchers, Obert provided the regulators copies of notes he claims he took during a conversation with a Surrey Creep Catchers member, some book outlines and draft stories.

The panel responded there was no way to confirm the dates on these documents.

The Teacher Regulation Branch is still deciding what Obert’s guilty penalty will be and when it will be handed down.

Mission

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Falling tree claims life in Langley

Victim was reportedly out for a walk on a rural road

Abbotsford had B.C.’s most-crowded Grade 4-7 classrooms last year

District was only one in Fraser Health to ask for cohort expansion

New industrial growth plan should still include conversion of farmland, Abbotsford mayor says

Province denied city’s 2018 request to exclude lands from the Agriculture Land Reserve

Sunny skies ahead for Fraser Valley this week

Rain and smoke nowhere in the forecast after weeks of weather alerts

Submissions accepted for Anonymous Art Show

Online exhibit hosted by Abbotsford Arts Council in November

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read