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

Child luring charge stayed against former Fraser Valley principal

Jason Obert arrested after Creep Catchers video last fall

A charge of child luring has been stayed against a former Mission elementary school principal who was the target of a sting last fall by Fraser Valley Creep Catchers.

Instead, a nine-month peace bond was issued Monday in Abbotsford provincial court against Jason Alan Obert, 38.

A peace bond is a court order that requires a person to keep the peace and be on good behaviour for a period of time, or they can face criminal charges.

Obert was charged last November with one count of using telecommunication to lure a child under the age of 16.

He came to the attention of police after Creep Catchers released a video they said was taken Oct. 14 at the food court in Sevenoaks Shopping Centre.

The group has people pose as children and teens online in an attempt to lure possible sexual offenders into public.

They then videotape them, asking them why they wanted to meet with underage children, and then post the footage.

The video in question was posted online and indicated that the man in the footage had identified himself as “James,” a 33-year-old biologist, in his online communications with a decoy.

The decoy had posed as two girls, ages 14 and 15, and “James” had arranged to meet one of them, Creep Catchers claimed.

After the video was posted, several people said they recognized the man as Obert, who at the time was the principal of Windebank Elementary in Mission.

The Abbotsford Police Department subsequently launched an investigation into the matter and announced on Nov. 25 that Obert had been charged.

The Mission school district announced that a new principal had been put in place at the school and that Obert was no longer working in the district.

Permanent decisions about a teacher’s certification are made by the Ministry of Education’s Teacher Regulation Branch (TRB), and decisions are posted online.

The ministry does not comment on specific cases but, to date, no decision about Obert is on the TRB website.

– with files from Kevin Mills

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