Former Interior Health top doctor to be sentenced for child sex assault in June

WARNING: This article contains disturbing content.

A former top doctor of B.C.’s Interior Heath region and Alberta Health Services’ North zone will be sentenced in June for molesting a child in Grande Prairie, Alta.

The courts in Grande Prairie, Alta., have scheduled two half days on June 12 and 13 for sentencing Dr. Albert Stefanus de Villiers on the charges of sexual assault and sexual interference, of which he was found guilty last week.

Read more: Former top doctor of B.C.’s Interior Health region, Alberta’s North zone found guilty of child sex assault

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The first day will be to go over sentencing submissions and the second day will be for Alberta Court of King’s Bench Justice Shaina Leonard to decide the penalty for de Villiers.

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At the time that the crimes were committed, between June 15, 2018, and July 31, 2020, he was a medical officer of health for AHS and living in Grande Prairie. He moved to Kelowna, where he was the top medical doctor at Interior Health, a year later and it was there he was arrested on the aforementioned charges.

Click to play video: 'Child sex assault trial for Interior Health’s former top doctor underway in Alberta'

Child sex assault trial for Interior Health’s former top doctor underway in Alberta

Over the course of the three-day trial, Justice Leonard heard evidence from the boy who de Villiers assaulted, his parents, a police officer and de Villiers himself.

The boy said he and his sibling had spent the night at de Villiers’ home together a couple of times and he had stayed there alone four or five times. In video testimony recorded in 2021, when the allegations were made to police, the boy said that on more than one occasion, on his solo sleepover, he was shown nudity on a tablet. He said he’d been asked to touch de Villiers sexually and he also was touched sexually.

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While De Villiers moved away from the town where the boy’s family lived, ending the sleepovers, they maintained weekly contact through video calls.

Click to play video: 'Interior Health’s top doctor arrested'

Interior Health’s top doctor arrested

On one of those occasions, de Villiers crossed a line and, shortly thereafter, the boy told his mother about the assault.

The boy’s father testified that when he found out about what had been happening in May 2021, he immediately reported what he heard to the RCMP and cut off contact with de Villiers, who had since moved to the Okanagan where he worked for Interior Health.

De Villiers is still in Kelowna and has surrendered his passport and is not permitted to have one until he’s sentenced.

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De Villiers is facing separate child sex charges for allegations said to have occurred between January 2017 and December 2019 in Alberta. He’s scheduled to face trial on those charges in August.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, support is available: 

  • The Department of Justice Victim Services Directory includes a list of support services in your area.
  • Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free) Available 24/7 or Text CONNECT 686868

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