Brent Richter (Coast Reporter) – A former RCMP officer is facing five charges on the Sunshine Coast related to an alleged series of sexual assaults in the 1980s.
Gary Rudi Groenke plead “not guilty” in an arraignment hearing in provincial court in Sechelt on July 8. Groenke elected to be tried by a B.C. Supreme Court judge alone as opposed to a jury trial.
Groenke has been charged with buggery, gross indecency, two counts of sexual assault and one count of indecent assault.
Groenke was released on $5,000 bail with strict bail conditions including: keep the peace, not to change address without prior notification of RCMP, no contact with either alleged victim, no contact with persons under the age of 14 unless they are in the presence of their parent or guardian and to stay out of Sechelt unless for court appearances or meetings with his lawyer.
Sunshine Coast RCMP Cpl. Don Newman said RCMP had been investigating for about one year before charges were sworn in March. Newman said the accused lives in the Lower Mainland.
In February 2008, Groenke was acquitted in a Victoria courtroom on charges of sexual assault, sexual assault of a minor and invitation to sexual touching relating to an alleged incident in the early 1990s in Port Alberni.
Groenke’s next court date is a preliminary hearing set for March of 2010.