A 48-year-old Chilliwack teacher arrested Thursday for allegedly luring a child online was released from custody on strict conditions after a brief hearing in provincial court.
Michael Todd Paice is charged under a section of the criminal code dealing with communicating via a computer system with a person under 16, “to facilitate an invitation to sexual interference and/or sexual touching with respect to that person.”
No details of the allegations against Paice can be published because of a court-ordered ban on publication.
Crown counsel did not oppose the terms of the release, which include a $1,500 surety, a no contact order with four specific individuals, no contact with any females under age 16 and a ban on going to any public places where children under age 16 may be present.
Paice is also ordered not to possess a computer, or to have access to the Internet, unless it is under the control of his employer.
However, according to Chilliwack schools superintendent Michael Audet, Paice has not been teaching in the district since December, 2011. He could not confirm whether that was due to the charge.
Chilliwack RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth said the police investigation started “several months” ago in 2011, but she could not provide an exact date.
Police said there is “no indication that any children have been harmed with respect to this investigation.”
“We can appreciate the concern that parents will have after learning this news,” Hollingsworth said in a news release.
The school district also assured parents in a statement that “Our first priority is, and always will be, the safety and well-being of our students and ensuring a safe learning environment for them.”
“The district takes its role of protecting student welfare very seriously and (acts) quickly on any information that comes to its attention.”
According to an online school district document, Paice was first hired as a teacher at Mount Slesse Middle School in May, 1990.
His next court hearing to obtain counsel is scheduled for March 6.
Last August, sex-related charges against another Chilliwack teacher were suddenly dropped by the Crown just before a trial was scheduled to begin.
The exact reasons for staying the six charges were never given.
The teacher still faces a quasi-judicial review by the BC Teacher Regulation Branch, but his career is effectively over because of the criminal charges.