Former Winnipeg hockey coach faces long list of historical sexual assault charges

Click to play video: 'Former Winnipeg hockey coach charged with sexual assault' Former Winnipeg hockey coach charged with sexual assault
– Sep 2, 2021

Winnipeg police announced a long list of charges Thursday afternoon against a former Manitoba hockey coach, in connection with sexual assaults that took place in the 1990s.

Police said the victims reported the assaults in June, and said they had been sexually assaulted by an adult male coach while in their early teens at the time and playing in the Assiniboine Park Hockey Association.

The victims were allegedly invited to the coach’s home on separate occasions, where they were given money and alcohol and subsequently sexually assaulted.

Police said the victims told them the incidents had also been photographed and videotaped at the time.

Read more: Former junior hockey coach arrested in Alberta, facing sexual assault, assault charges in Regina

Robert “Bob” Donald Joseph Dawson, 57, is facing two counts of sexual interference, sexual exploitation, sexual assault, and forcible confinement, as well as two counts of making, printing or possessing child pornography for the purpose of publication, and one count of possessing child pornography.

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Const. Dani McKinnon said it’s not clear yet whether there are more victims out there.

“These types of cases are extremely sensitive, they’re very nuanced, they’re very personal and private, and just the fact that they did come forward when they did is quite remarkable,” she said.

“We do have two reports that have been made… there is always that possibility that there could be other survivors, and if that is the case, police encourage you to call the sex crimes unit.”

Hockey Winnipeg’s executive director, Ian McArton, told Global News that Dawson’s involvement with the program nearly three decades ago pre-dates its current database, so no details are available about how long he was involved with local hockey and in which capacity.

None of the current staff or executive at Hockey Winnipeg, or board members of the Assiniboine Park Hockey Association, have any connections to the accused, he said.

“These charges are extremely serious, and very troubling to the volunteers, members, and staff of Hockey Winnipeg.

“On behalf of Hockey Winnipeg’s executive, we are hopeful that justice is served in this case.”

McArton said the organization’s current procedures include screening volunteers against the Child Abuse Registry and following a Respectful Hockey Policy, which allows for anonymous reporting of concerns.

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Anyone with information or who wants to speak to investigators is asked to call the sex crimes unit at 204-986-6245 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).

Click to play video: 'Police warn of sexual assaults on popular Winnipeg trail' Police warn of sexual assaults on popular Winnipeg trail
Police warn of sexual assaults on popular Winnipeg trail – Aug 10, 2021

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