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Trial for Quinte West man accused of sexual offences against youth begins

Click to play video 'Trial for Quinte West man accused of sexual offences against youth begins' Trial for Quinte West man accused of sexual offences against youth begins
The crimes allegedly took place between 2015 and 2017 and involved five youths – Jan 6, 2020

The trial for a former Quinte West pee-wee hockey coach and YMCA employee began in Belleville, Ont. on Monday.

Tanner Neron faces 14 counts of sex-related charges including sexual assault, possession of child pornography, seduction and exposure.

READ MORE: Retrial begins for former Kingston teacher and OHL billet accused of sex crimes against minors

The crimes allegedly took place between 2015 and 2017 and involved five youths.

On Monday morning, Neron stood in front of a Belleville court and pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Shortly thereafter, Crown counsel John O’Halloran called his first youth witness to testify.

The youth, who cannot be identified per the Youth Criminal Justice Act, said a relationship with Neron began in 2015 when the youth started attending weekly leadership classes at Belleville’s YMCA, where Neron was an instructor.

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The witness said the two were fast friends, quickly adding each other on Snapchat.

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After a year of attending classes at the YMCA, the witness says Neron began sending pictures of his genitals to the youth as well as photos of naked women and links to pornographic websites.

“He would send them like once a week,” the youth told the court.

“I always thought it was weird that he was sending me those.”

READ MORE: Kingston man charged for allegedly luring, attempting to sexually assault 13-year-old victim

According to the youth, this trend carried on into the summer months, when the YMCA leadership students and teachers went to a summer camp, staying overnight in cabins.

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The witness recalled an alleged incident from the 2016 camp in which they said Neron exposed himself to the students.

The youth witness also recalled Neron sitting on top of a bunk bed beside another student while not wearing a shirt. The youth told the court he didn’t believe it was inappropriate at the time.

O’Halloran says he plans to question 15 witnesses during the two weeks set aside for the trial, which is set to continue Tuesday morning.