Thursday, 29 Oct 2020

Trial for Coaldale man charged with sexual assault involving underage girls begins

Trevor Pritchard sat in the prisoner’s box as the Crown made the opening statements in day one of his trial. The Coaldale, Alta., man is facing one count of sexual assault, two counts of child luring and one count of possession of child pornography.

A second charge of sexual assault was stayed by the Crown at the beginning of the trial.

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After Pritchard was charged in January 2017 for the alleged sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl, Coaldale RCMP released a statement after his initial arrest asking anyone with information to come forward.

Three more alleged victims were identified — ranging from 14 to 16 years old — and those are the charges he is now on trial for. The original charges related to the assault of the 15-year-old are being dealt with separately.

The alleged offences took place between September 2016 and January 2017.

The Crown says it plans to call seven witnesses.

Const. Jason Richmond with the Lethbridge Police Service was the first person to take the stand on Tuesday. He is a member of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams and works specifically with the Internet Child Exploitation unit.

He testified a number of electronic devices were seized from Pritchard’s Coaldale residence and that there were two Facebook messenger accounts used by Pritchard, one with his own name and one by the name of Phillip Fieldcamper, an alias or online name Richmond said Pritchard used.

The trial is set to run for three weeks.

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