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BC government probing why Kelowna public not informed about child predator prior to 'disturbing' incident

The Ministry of Public Safety is being questioned about why the community of Kelowna was not notified about the release of a man with a history of sexual assaults, who is now accused of reoffending against an 11-year-old girl in Kelowna last month.

<who>BC RCMP</who>Mugshots of Taylor Dueck from 2020

Kelowna RCMP confirmed that Taylor Dueck was arrested on Feb. 9, 2024 in relation to an alleged incident at a local equestrian school. He remains in custody, and is scheduled to appear in court next on March 5, 2024.

Police told KelownaNow that Dueck is charged with invitation to sexual touching, sexual interference and breaching probation.

“Our investigators are working closely with the BC Prosecution Service to ensure they have all the evidence and disclosure they require,” said spokesperson Cpl. Michael Gauthier.

Gauthier added that the detachment sought a Public Interest Disclosure (PID) before Dueck was released into the community, however, “the threshold was not met in this case based on the totality of the circumstances.”

According to Gauthier, a PID is typically issued by the agency who had the best and most recent knowledge of the subject.

“While we cannot speak for other agencies, the BC RCMP has been very proactive with issuing a PID when we become aware of a person’s release into one of our communities,” he added.

On Feb. 3, 2020, the Abbotsford Police Department issued a PID after Dueck was released into the community.

Police said at the time that he had a criminal history that included two instances of sexual assault against a person under the age of 16, as well as assault with a weapon.

His court ordered conditions included not being able to possess or consume controlled substances, having to abided by a curfew of 9 pm to 6 am, and not to possess any weapons.

Mission RCMP also issued a PID about Dueck in February of 2020.

Minister of Public Safety Mark Farnworth told the media yesterday that he is “extremely concerned” and “very angry” over what happened.

Farnworth said he has ordered an investigation of all involved agencies for a full account of what took place.

“I want to ensure that there were not systems failures. I want to ensure that everything that should have been done, was done, because quite frankly, this should never, ever happen,” he explained.

When asked why Dueck was allowed to be placed at an equestrian facility with young girls on the property, and why he was seemingly not being closely supervised, Farnworth said again that it is “disturbing” and a “horrible decision,” and that an investigation is underway.

During a media availability yesterday, BC United leader Kevin Falcon also spoke out about the situation, blaming the government for neglecting to notify residents.

“I have to tell you, as a parent of an 11-year-old myself, to see a young girl like that victimized by a pedophile like this sickens me,” he told reporters.

“And frankly, it angers me, because I'm a little tired of having to hear the Premier stand up and talk about how white-hot angry he is every time some incident like this happens. And yet, nothing ever gets done.”

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