North Vancouver RCMP have arrested a retired elementary school teacher on seven counts of indecent assault against his students, but investigators believe there are more victims yet to have come forward.
The 82-year-old man, who has not yet been charged by the Crown or named by police, taught at Upper Lynn Elementary School between 1970 and 1982, according to a release from Sgt. Peter DeVries, North Vancouver RCMP spokesperson.
Many of the alleged assaults happened during that period, but DeVries said some occurred after his employment as a teacher ended in 1982.
Police first became aware of the alleged assaults when a victim came forward on June 14 of this year. The teacher was later arrested and police executed a search warrant at his home.
So far, there are seven identified alleged victims. DeVries said discussions about the teacher and the assaults have been happening via social media recently, and investigators believe there are more victims they have not yet spoken with.
"Our priorities right now are to speak with those who have not yet come forward, to gather all available evidence so we can thoroughly investigate these allegations, and to support all the victims as we undergo this process," said DeVries.
Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of the same teacher is being urged to contact investigators at 604-969-7593.
North Vancouver RCMP's Crisis Intervention Unit has been tasked to support victims and witnesses of crime and other significant traumatic events, DeVries said. They can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 604-969-7540.
"We know that this will be upsetting news for members of the community, and especially for the victims," said DeVries. "For some, hearing about this may reignite memories of past trauma. If you are a victim, please, reach out for support. We want you to know that we are here, we will listen to you, and we will support you."