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Former teacher faces Vancouver sex assault charge

  • June 23, 2023

A former teacher at St. Thomas Aquinas Regional Secondary School in North Vancouver is facing charges for allegedly committing sexual assault against a student.

According to a media release issued by the North Vancouver RCMP, 42-year-old Anthony Vesco allegedly committed this act while he was teaching at the school from 2017 to 2019.

It was back on May 2 that Vesco was formally charged with sexual exploitation and sexual assault under the Criminal Code of Canada. A country-wide warrant for his detention was also issued that day. He was arrested on June 6 by the Windsor Police Service.

Vesco has since been released on bail.

Krissy Litam, an executive assistant to Deacon Henk Luyten, the superintendent of the Catholic Independent Schools of Vancouver Archdiocese (CIVSA), told The Catholic Register via email that “this news is deeply upsetting, and our hearts and prayers are with those affected.” Litam added that “St. Thomas Aquinas Regional Secondary School and the Catholic Independent Schools Vancouver Archdiocese are cooperating fully with the police investigation.”

CIVSA consists of 41 elementary (kindergarten to Grade 7) and nine secondary (Grades 8-12) schools. All but three of the secondary and one of the elementary institutions are diocesan Catholic schools owned and operated by the Archdiocese of Vancouver. The exceptions are classified as non-diocesan Catholic schools.

Constable Mansoor Sahak, spokesperson for the North Vancouver RCMP, stated that the detachment is aware there have been messages exchanged on social media between individuals who may have been affected or had knowledge about the alleged assault.

“Our priorities right now are to speak with those who have not yet come forward, to gather all available evidence, and to support the victim as we undergo this process,” said Sahak.

Any additional witnesses with knowledge are asked to contact the police at 1-(604)-985-1311, citing file #22-1350.

“We know that this will be upsetting news for members of the community,” said Sahak. “For some, hearing about this may reignite memories of past trauma. If you are a victim of sexual assault, please, reach out for support. We want you to know that we are here, we will listen to you, and we will support you.”

North Vancouver RCMP’s Crisis Intervention Unit is on hand to provide support “to victims and witnesses of crime and other significant traumatic events, and can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-604-969-7540.”

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