Just over a month after launching a historical sexual exploitation investigation, a 28-year-old man who was a teacher in St. Albert has been charged.
RCMP received information that a minor had been sexually exploited by a teacher and started investigating on Feb. 23.
Cpl. Morgan Kyle said it’s believed the alleged incidents happened between 2018 and 2021.
Investigators said Thursday that Bryce Hughes of Edmonton has been charged with sexual exploitation, agreeing or arranging a sexual offence against a child, making sexually explicit material available to a child, making child pornography and possession of child pornography.
Hughes has been released from custody with conditions. He’s scheduled to appear in court on April 25.
Global News has confirmed Hughes taught at Paul Kane High School.
According to Football Alberta’s website, Bryce Hughes from Paul Kane High School won the novice coach of the year award in 2016.
When reached by Global News, the executive director of Football Alberta confirmed Hughes was an assistant coach for Team Alberta U18 in December. Tim Enger said Football Alberta expected Hughes to be part of its programming in April. The executive will be talking about next steps early next week, he said.
Enger said Football Alberta was not apprised of anything prior to the charges being announced by RCMP Thursday.
“Of course we take these actions very seriously and we will deal with them accordingly,” Enger said. “We just need some time to do so.”
St. Albert Victim Services is in contact with the victim.
RCMP believe there may be other victims and are asking anyone affected or with information to contact them at 780-458-7700 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
In a statement, St. Albert Public Schools said it was made aware of the RCMP investigation in mid-February and “immediately launched an internal investigation.”
At that time, the accused “was removed from the high school” and banned from having any contact with anyone connected to the school division.
“Allegations of this kind affect our students, their families, our staff and our whole community as we are faced with this unimaginable breach of all that we value,” the division said in a statement posted online Thursday.
Supports will be available to students and staff on April 4 when they come back from spring break, the school division said.
“As always, and as we move forward, our decision-making is guided by our commitment to student safety, respect for the privacy of the individuals involved, our responsibilities under the Education Act and the legal process.
“We sincerely appreciate the ongoing relationship we have with the RCMP and their role in helping keep our students safe.”