Former Main Street Church executiveFormer Main Street Church executive pastor John Vermeer’s trial for child pornography started July 23, 2019, was delayed until January 2020, and is next in court in February. pastor John Vermeer’s trial for child pornography started July 23, 2019 but is now delayed for months.

Former Main Street Church executiveFormer Main Street Church executive pastor John Vermeer’s trial for child pornography started July 23, 2019, was delayed until January 2020, and is next in court in February. pastor John Vermeer’s trial for child pornography started July 23, 2019 but is now delayed for months.

Chilliwack church pastor child porn trial delayed yet again

Nearly two years since John Vermeer’s first court appearance

Chilliwack’s church pastor child porn trial faces yet more delays amid the already sparse amount of court time set aside between January and May.

John (Johannes) Vermeer had his first court appearance in provincial court almost two years ago on March 29, 2018 facing one count each of possession of child pornography and accessing child pornography from May 1, 2010. He also faces the same charges with an offence date of March 17, 2015.

The highly technical trial has been beset by delays from the start. After just one witness on July 23, 2019, it became clear that more computer logs needed to be disclosed to Vermeer’s lawyer, and an external hard drive connected to his main computer was missing.

Finally back in court for two dates this month, Jan. 9 and 10, Crown and defence cross-examined computer technician Lyle Kullman who worked for the IT company used by Main Street Church, and who examined the computer systems when the child pornography was first found.

Second up on the witness stand on Jan. 10, was Cpl. Darryl Anderson. But early on in the questions put to Anderson by Crown counsel Teresa Mitchell-Banks it became clear she was seeking to have him be an expert witness. To include expert testimony in a trial, however, the Crown needs to give defence at least 30 days notice, according to the law.

Mitchell-Banks did not give Vermeer’s lawyer Michael Klein that notice, so the trial date on Jan. 10 was adjourned.

Anderson has acted as an RCMP expert witness on computer matters in the past, most recently in a child porn trial that saw the acquittal of the accused.

• READ MORE: Prominent realtor’s child porn trial starts in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack

• READ MORE: All child porn charges against Chilliwack realtor dismissed

The testimony heard on the last day of the Vermeer trial on Jan. 10 involved questions and answers about servers, hard drives, file sharing, administrative privileges, Trojan viruses, hacking and bots.

Vermeer’s lawyer Klein asked Kullman numerous highly technical questions about what is theoretically possible to do to a computer or a network of computers remotely using malware.

“With some sophistication you could delete just about anything?” Klein asked Kullman.

“If you have administrative rights to the computer you can wipe out pretty much whatever you want,” he replied.

Klein asked Kullman if he found any evidence of Trojan viruses or other hacking on the computers at the churches.

“We didn’t find any evidence of that,” he said, in part.

Klein pushed him further asking if a sophisticated hacker could installed a virus and then used software to later remove the virus.

“It’s theoretically possible,” Kullman said.

At the start of the trial, Crown counsel Teresa Mitchell-Banks explained that the IT firm found 81 files with names typical of child pornography.

Evidence of more images and videos were later found, some on a laptop computer previously used by Vermeer.

While there have already been several delays, Klein has not yet asked the court to consider a motion to dismiss charges under section 11(b) of the criminal code. Under the 2016 Jordan decision, the Supreme Court of Canada decreed that provincial court matters should take no longer than 18 months from charge approval to the end of trial.

The trial is set to resume Feb. 24.


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

@PeeJayAitch
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Rohan arul-Pragasam, Chilliwack School District’s interim superintendent, has been appointed superintendent of schools effective June 15, 2021. (Chilliwack School District)
Interim position becomes permanent for Rohan Arul-pragasam at Chilliwack School District

Arul-pragasam said he was ‘humbled to continue as a steward’ in new role as superintendent of schools

PlanCultus was adopted in 2017 as a guiding document for Cultus Lake Park. (Cultus Lake Park Board)
More affordable housing options could be coming to Cultus Lake Park

Online survey opened on June 14 to gauge opinion on plaza redevelopment eyed for Village Centre

The Abbotsford International Airshow is back for 2021 with the ‘SkyDrive’ concept.
Abbotsford International Airshow returns for 2021 with ‘SkyDrive’

New format features a drive-in movie type experience, show set for Aug. 6 to 8

A young couple walks through the Othello Tunnels just outside of Hope. (Jessica Peters/Black Press)
Hope’s Othello Tunnels fully open to the public

Geological testing proved the area safe enough to open for the first time in more than a year

Raeya Evie Duncan was the 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital for the month of May. She is seen here with her parents Alysha Williams and Andrew Duncan on June 12, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Baby boom in Chilliwack as record number of infants born at CGH in May

‘COVID babies are coming out,’ says dad of 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital last month

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Most Read