A former Mission elementary school principal once charged with child luring after a Creep Catchers sting is now facing a hearing from the province’s Teacher Regulation Branch (TRB).
Jason Alan Obert’s hearing is scheduled from March 3 to 6 and March 11 to 13, 2020 in Vancouver.
Obert was charged with child luring in 2016 after the Fraser Valley Creep Catchers released a video they said was taken at the food court at Sevenoaks Shopping Centre in Abbotsford.
Obert allegedly was going by “James” in online communications with a decoy who pretended to be girls aged 14 and 15. The Creep Catchers claimed “James” arranged to meet one of them.
At the time the man in the video was identified as a school principal, something the superintendent of the Mission school district would not confirm at the time. All he said was that Obert was a principal at Windebank Elementary who was no longer working in the district.
In July 2017, however, the charge of telecommunication to lure a child under the age of 16 was stayed by the Crown. Instead, a peace bond was issued in Abbotsford provincial court against the 38-year-old.
Now Obert is facing the TRB hearing in March.
“A citation has been issued to hear and determine allegations of communicating electronically with and arranging to meet a minor at a public place,” according to the TRB website.
“Citations are issued by the Commissioner for Teacher Regulation and set out allegations against an authorized person (or former authorized person) that will be considered at a hearing. Please note that allegations in a citation are unproven unless and until a hearing panel has determined their validity.
One of the first witnesses at that hearing is Marie Bullon, a former Creep Catcher who says she was the decoy in the case against Obert.
Bullon is angry the Crown dropped the charges, alleging that police botched her case that should have been based on the evidence she provided.
She was also involved in the high-profile case of a Creep Catchers sting in Chilliwack that led to multiple convictions for various criminal acts by an elderly man. That sting led to victims of Don Putt coming forward with allegations of sexual abuse from the 1980s in Agassiz.
The Parole Board of Canada called Putt an “untreated sex offender.” He was out on statutory release on Jan. 15, 2020.
Bullon was in the news in 2017 after the case of Putt and Obert when she broke with Creep Catchers and its controversial leader, Ryan LaForge.
The group faced increasing scrutiny for illegal and unethical behaviour in its videos posted online, and most of their evidence was useless in court for prosecutions. Bullon then created her own group called Block Guardians that did similar work without posting the videos on YouTube.
– with files from Vikki Hopes and Kevin Mills
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