Interior Health’s top doctor has been released on bail after being charged with two sex crimes against a child.
Dr. Albert de Villiers, the health authority’s chief medical health officer, was arrested and charged in Kelowna on Tuesday (June 8) with sexual assault and sexual interference. Both offences are alleged to have occurred in Grande Prairie, Alta., between 2018 and 2020.
De Villiers, 52, appeared in court in Kelowna by phone on Wednesday morning (June 9) for a bail hearing after spending Tuesday night in police custody.
The BC Prosecution Service confirmed he was released on a promise to pay $1,500 if he breaches the conditions of his release. Those conditions include de Villiers having no contact with his alleged victim or the victim’s family and staying away from areas where children under 16 are known to be present, including public parks, swimming areas, community centres, schools and playgrounds. In addition, he has surrendered his passport.
The Grande Prairie RCMP stated the charges are related to its investigation of alleged sexual offences against a young child reported to them on May 28.
The 52-year-old previously served as the lead medical health officer Alberta’s north zone for several years and was based out of Grande Prairie. He came to Interior Health in August 2020.
Interior Health has removed de Villiers’ name from its website. The health authority is still yet to comment on the matter but confirmed the chief medical health officer role will be filled on an interim basis for the remainder of this week and Dr. Sue Pollock will take the position at the beginning of next week.
Pollock previously served as Interior Health’s interim chief medical health officer between January 2020 and August 2020.
De Villiers is next scheduled to appear in court in Grande Prairie on June 30.
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