Top doctor for B.C. Interior released from custody after court appearance
Update: 4pm June 9
Health Minister Adrian Dix says the arrest of Interior Health's chief medical officer of health on sexual assault charges won't distract anyone in the region from protecting people from COVID-19.
Albert de Villiers was released from custody after appearing in court today in Grande Prairie, Alberta, on charges of sexual assault and sexual interference involving a child.
The 52-year-old's next court date is set for June 30th in the community where he worked before moving to Kelowna last summer.
Dix says Dr. Sue Pollock will take over as Interior Health's interim chief medical officer on Monday.
- original story from Canadian Press -
The chief medical officer for B.C.'s Interior Health Authority has been arrested and charged in connection with alleged sexual offences involving a child in Alberta.
Authorities confirmed that Dr. Albert de Villiers was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon in Kelowna, and that he's facing one count of sexual assault and one count of sexual interference.
The 52-year-old doctor was arrested on behalf of the Grande Praire RCMP detachment, which said it began investigating after receiving a report of "sexual offences against a young child that had allegedly taken place between 2018 and 2020."
"As this matter is now before the courts no further information can be released," Grande Prairie RCMP said in a news release.
Prior to moving to B.C. in 2020, de Villiers was the lead medical health officer for Alberta's North Zone for 16 years, and was stationed in Grande Prairie.
B.C.'s Ministry of Health told CTV News it's aware of de Villier's arrest and is monitoring the situation.
The Interior Health Authority said a temporary chief medical officer will be appointed on Wednesday, and that Dr. Sue Pollock will assume the role starting next week.
A spokesperson said the health authority could not comment further on Tuesday, and directed questions to the RCMP.