UPDATE: 9 p.m.
Grande Prairie Mounties say they received a report of sexual offences against a young child, allegedly to have taken place between 2018 and 2020, on May 28.
In a statement issued Tuesday night, Sgt. Shawn Graham with the Grande Prairie RCMP, said the detachment's special investigative unit launched an investigation into the allegations with help from the Grande Prairie Caribou Centre. According to the organization's website, the centre "serves children and youth (under 18) who have experienced sexual, physical, or pyschological abuse, exploitation, and/or neglect."
Grande Prairie RCMP laid charges against Dr. Albert de Villiers, now the chief medical officer for Interior Health.
de Villiers is in custody in Kelowna, awaiting a judicial bail hearing and likely a determination on whether he will be transported back to Alberta.
He has been charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of sexual interference.
The 52-year-old was the medical officer of health for Alberta's North Zone until July 2020 before taking the post in B.C.
UPDATE: 7 p.m.
Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical officer for Interior Health, has been arrested in Kelowna for a sexual assault charge, according to Alberta RCMP.
Cpl. Curtis Peters, on-call media relations officer, confirmed Dr. de Villiers was arrested early Tuesday in Kelowna on charges originating from a Grande Prairie RCMP investigation.
Peters said Dr. de Villiers is facing one count of sexual assault and one count of sexual interference.
The Criminal Code definition sexual interference involves a victim under the age of 16, or 18 if the accused is in a position of trust.
Peters said he couldn’t confirm when a court date was set, or the date of the offence.
Before taking on the role as Interior Health’s top doctor in August 2020, de Villiers worked in Grande Prairie as the lead medical health officer for Alberta’s north zone.
ORIGINAL: 6:15 p.m.
Global News is reporting that Interior Health’s chief medical health officer has been arrested.
The brief report, citing unnamed sources, says Dr. Albert de Villiers was taken into custody on Tuesday in Kelowna and more details will be released Wednesday.
Castanet News has requested more information from both Interior Health and the RCMP.
Dr. de Villiers has been Interior Health’s top doctor since about August 2020, coming to the position from Grande Prairie where he was the lead medical health officer with Alberta’s north zone.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.