A Mission elementary school principal who became the subject of a video in which he had allegedly arranged a meeting with a teenage girl has now been charged.
Jason Alan Obert, 37, was charged today with child luring, the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) announced.
The matter came to the attention of the APD after the group Fraser Valley 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 a Mission elementary school principal.
At the time, an administrator with Mission Public Schools said officials were aware of the issue and were conducting their own investigation. They did not name the principal, but said the employee was not at work following the matter.
Angus Wilson, superintendent of the Mission school district, would not comment on the case, except to confirm that Obert was a principal at Windebank Elementary and that he is not currently being paid by the district.
Wilson said there has been a "successful transition" to a new principal at Windebank.
APD Const. Ian MacDonald said officers met Oct. 24 with representatives from Creep Catchers, took possession of the video and other materials, and began an investigation.
“This culminated in a report to Crown counsel with the recommendation of charges,” he said.
Obert has been released from custody with several court-ordered conditions, including that:
– he not communicate with or be alone with anyone under 18 years except his own children or when in the company of an approved adult;
– he not engage in any activity that involves contact or communication via computer with anyone under 18;
– he not use any online social media networks or online dating sites; and
– he not attend public places (such as parks, school grounds, playgrounds and recreation centres) where people under 18 are present, unless in the company of an approved adult.