Erin, Ont. man facing sex-related charges was a former Scouts Canada volunteer, org. confirms
KITCHENER -- Scouts Canada has confirmed that an Erin, Ont. man facing several sex-related charges involving someone under the age of 16 was a volunteer for the organization for a number of years.
The scouting association, which provides programs for young people between the ages of five and 26, confirms that Sean Michael Large was a Scouts Canada volunteer from September 2013 to November 2020.
According to Wellington County OPP, officers began the investigation in late August after a report of a sexual assault and other sex-related offences that took place in Erin in July.
They say that, as a result of the investigation, 41-year-old Large was charged with sexual assault of a person under 16, invitation to sexual touching of a person under 16 and sexual interference.
The investigation remains active and the three charges are related to a single individual, according to OPP.
"The victim is in a place of safety at this point," said Const. Kirk Macdonald of the Wellington County OPP. "We don't have concerns right now for the individual or any others at this time."
According to Scouts Canada, Large’s membership was suspended immediately after the Ontario Provincial Police advised them that he was under investigation. The membership has since been terminated.
“Scouts Canada holds its volunteers to a very high standard. If a volunteer is found to have breached our safety policies, their membership is terminated,” said Kayleigh Kanoza, director of organizational planning for Scouts Canada in an emailed statement to CTV News.
Peel Paramedics confirmed that the man is an employee there, but that he has been off on an unrelated medical leave.
An OPP spokesperson said in an email to CTV News they “can’t speculate if there are more victims,” adding that “the investigation is still very active.”
Scouts Canada adds that, for privacy reasons, they can't say what groups Large was associated with.
Large is set to appear in Guelph court at a later date in 2021.
Heather Horn, a child protecting supervisor with the Child & Youth Advocacy Centre, says people should be aware of red flags when it comes to aduts in a position of influence over a child.
"if a professional starts asking things like 'maybe I should drive your child to an event,' they're taking an over-interest with just your child as opposed to other kids, undermining parents' authority can sometimes be concerning, and as well as if they are giving them gifts, what's the reason for that?" she said.
Horn adds that parents or guardians should empower their children to be able to ask questions and have open dialogues about cosent and body safety.