Youth soccer coach on trial in online luring case
An Edmonton youth soccer coach accused of trying to arrange sex online with an 11-year-old girl, saw his trial begin Monday afternoon in the Court of Queen’s Bench.
A specialized detective told court it was actually a child exploitation investigator that 46-year-old Wesley Darrell Vander Leeuw was interacting with, in what they say were sexually explicit conversations about children.
And after Vander Leeuw was arrested, an officer testifying said his phone revealed an actual conversation with a mother regarding sex with children. The woman is a mother of two children. It was on an instant messenging site called Kik.
Agreed facts show that Vander Leeuw’s account name was edmbull and his display name was W v.
Crown Prosecutor Tara Hayes asked Edmonton Police Service Detective Brian Cross, “Did this impact how your investigation moved forward?”
Cross responded “It immediately went into an open source investigation...to find out if it was an actual person.“
That woman was also arrested, and Vander Leeuw, a soccer coach for an under-11 team, was hit with additional charges.
At the start of Vander Leeuw’s trial Monday afternoon, an agreed statement of facts was entered by Crown and Defence.
It states that Vander Leeuw admits to communicating with a person known as “Shannon."
And that “‘Shannon” was actually an undercover police officer online.
Another fact that is agreed to by both Crown and Defence, regarding Vander Leeuw’s phone states “A number of the electronic communications located by the forensic examiner involve exchanges describing sexual activity with children. It is admitted that these exchanges constitute written child pornography.”
Vander Leeuw has pleaded not guilty to a total of five charges. The allegations relate to communication and arrangement for a sexual purpose with someone under 16, as well as transmission, sale, export or distribution of child pornography.
A publication ban is in place to protect the identities of victims in this case.
The trial continues Tuesday, with testimony from the officer who posed as “Shannon.”