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Crime

Calgary basketball coach charged with sexual abuse of teenage boy

WATCH: Junny Gallaza has been charged with multiple offences including sexual assault. As Tracy Nagai reports, the investigation into the 59-year-old was launched when the 15-year-old victim’s friend came forward to school officials.

Police have laid numerous charges against a Calgary man following an investigation into the sexual abuse of a teenage boy.

Officers launched their investigation in June after a 15-year-old came forward to report being sexually assaulted.

READ MORE: Calgary police seek driver who pulled over to help sex assault victim

Police said the accused was in a position of trust with the boy, coaching and sponsoring him in a youth basketball imitative through Keepers’ Club International.

“The man purchased a number of personal items for the victim and provided transportation to and from sporting events, games and tournaments,” the Calgary Police Service explained in a Thursday news release.

“It is alleged that their interactions escalated to sexual assault, which occurred at the man’s residence in Calgary, on a number of occasions over a 12-month period, between June 2018 and June 2019.”

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Police have charged Junny Gallaza, 59, with invitation to sexual touching, sexual interference, sexual assault, sexual exploitation and obtaining sexual services for consideration.

He is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday, Aug. 21.

On Aug. 7, 2019, police arrested Junny Gallaza, 59, of Calgary.
On Aug. 7, 2019, police arrested Junny Gallaza, 59, of Calgary. Obtained by Global News

During a Thursday news conference, Staff Sgt. John Guigon said the accused was a volunteer within Keepers’ Club International.

The organization told Global News it had become aware that some of the players were having sleepovers at Gallaza’s home, and told them to stop about four weeks ago.

Spokesperson Jerome Abada said the group wasn’t aware of the charges.

“I feel disappointed. I thought he was a very good man… like he doesn’t have any bad intentions to the Keeper’s Club members,” Abada said.

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READ MORE: Calgary police investigate sexual assault in city’s southeast

Police are asking anyone with information that could aid in the investigation to call Det. Amy Spence at 403-428-5457.

More information on how to recognize signs of child abuse can be found on the Calgary and Area Child Advocacy Centre website.

– With files from Tracy Nagai

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