UPDATE: Resolution found for North Okanagan gymnastics coach facing child pornography charges

The trial begins at 10 a.m. in Vernon Supreme Court

UPDATE: 10:24 a.m.

A resolution was found the morning before a gymnastics coach facing charges in relation to child pornography was meant to stand trial.

Clad in a grey dress shirt with black pants to match his trimmed light-brown hair and moustache, Chad Andrew McDowell sat silently in Supreme Court Tuesday, Nov. 20 as it was decided that his file will move back down to provincial court for the purpose of re-election to a provincial court judge.

“This matter came right down to the 11th hour, my lord. As of last night, I was absolutely sure it was going to go to trial,” defence lawyer Julian van der Walle told the court. “However, as of this morning, my friend and I have come together with a very creative resolution involving my client entering a plea of guilty to a different offence that does not attract a mandatory minimum.”

It is anticipated McDowell will face a charge of possession of obscene material for the purpose of circulation. He was originally charged with possession of child pornography, accessing child pornography, and importing or distributing child pornography.

Crown prosecutor Juan O’Quinn and van der Walle put together a joint submission for sentence and sought to re-elect down to provincial court. However, the Justice questioned why it was necessary to move the file to another court when a joint submission will be presented.

The defence said they anticipate new information will be sworn.

“I’m not sure if this is an actual included offence. The test for included offences is extremely strict. It will likely take two or three hours of research to conclude whether or not it is, so we will need a separate information,” van der Walle said.

The trial was adjourned by agreement of the Crown and the accused. McDowell will appear next in provincial court Thursday, Nov. 29.


UPDATE: Nov. 19, 2018, 10:42 a.m.

The trial for a North Okanagan gymnastics coach facing charges for alleged incidents involving child pornography will proceed.

“This matter is set to start trial tomorrow and we are ready to proceed,” defence lawyer Julian van der Walle told a Supreme Court Justice during Monday’s two-minute hearing.

Juan O’Quinn is the Crown prosecutor on the file.

The trial was put over to 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20. According to Supreme Court Scheduling, the trial is scheduled for nine days.


Original: 7:30 a.m.

The trial for a North Okanagan gymnastics coach facing charges for alleged incidents involving child pornography begins today.

According to court documents, Chad Andrew McDowell is charged with possession of child pornography, accessing child pornography, and importing or distributing child pornography.

A trial on these three charges is set to begin in Vernon Supreme Court at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 19.

Related: Gymnastics coach facing child pornography charges

McDowell, born in 1975, is listed as the Owner of Kalamalka Acro & Tumbling on social media. His profile states that he is currently teaching in Lumby and is looking to expand into other small towns.

However, a former Village of Lumby chief administrative officer told The Morning Star in June 2017 that the profile hasn’t been updated and that the arrangement was cancelled in May 2016 due to dwindling registration.

McDowell also coached at a gymnastics club in Vernon for 17 weeks in late 2012 and early 2013 and was subsequently released from his duties by the club, which states its last contact with the coach was in December 2012.

None of the charges against McDowell have been proven in court.


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