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Second charge approved against Nault

Source: canada.com By Chad Skelton

Date: May 28, 2003

Dale Charles Nault UPDATE: Prosecutors have approved a second charge of sexual assault against a former Scout leader and minor-hockey coach accused of luring young boys into sex using the Internet.

In a court date Tuesday, Dale Charles Nault, 34, was charged in relation to an alleged relationship with a 15-year-old boy in 2000. He already faces a charge related to a 14-year-old boy.

Nault is alleged to have lied about his age and identity while visiting chatrooms aimed at gay teens.

Original story in Tuesday's Vancouver Sun:

In a case that could break new legal ground, a 34-year-old Surrey man has been charged with sexual assault for having consensual sex with a 14-year-old boy after allegedly telling him he was only 19.

Police say Dale Charles Nault, a married former Scout leader and minor hockey coach, met the 14-year-old boy on the Internet and the two began a relationship.

Surrey RCMP spokesman Constable Tim Shields said there is no suggestion that the 14-year-old, who is old enough to consent to sex, did not agree to have sex -- but said Nault's alleged lie about his age makes the act a crime.

"If a 14-year-old believes he is consenting to a relationship with a 19-year-old, but in reality it's a 34-year-old, is that informed consent?" asked Shields.

Police say they were made aware of the case when the boy's mother began questioning Nault's age.

There is a section of the Criminal Code that states sexual consent is not valid if if was obtained by "reason of fraud."

But it is not clear what constitutes fraud.

Michael Klein, a prominent Vancouver defence lawyer who is not connected with the case, said the only instance he knows of where someone was successfully prosecuted for lying to obtain sex is that of Henry Cuerrier, a Squamish man who had unprotected sex with two women without disclosing he had HIV.

In that case, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled the level of Cuerrier's deception meant the women were not able to consent.

"We would all not consent if we knew the person we're involved with could kill us by nature of having a communicable disease," Klein said. "But this is unusual."

Police are investigating allegations involving four other teenagers Nault allegedly met on the Internet and suspect there may be more.

"Part of the reason we're going public with the photograph is we believe there are additional victims," he said.

But Shields said there is no evidence so far that Nault was involved with anyone in minor hockey or Scouts.

Police say Nault -- who is now in police custody -- was active on several chat sites, including faceparty.com, where he went under the nickname "the_devil_chyld." On other sites he used the nickname "Damien."

Mike Gregerson, 19, who said he has often chatted online with Nault, said Nault has been attending events and parties for gay teens for at least the past four years -- despite a rule barring those over the age of 19.

"I know lots of people who knew him," Gregerson said.

"We didn't really think anything of it ... He'd be friendly, then sometimes he'd be overfriendly. He'd hit on you if he had a chance."

Gregerson said many people thought Nault looked older than he said, but he was taken at his word.

Gregerson, who hosted many of the teen gatherings, said he's angry that Nault allegedly took advantage of get-togethers that were meant to help gay teens support each other.

"The whole reason was for people our age to talk with each other and have a social circle," he said.

Gregerson said whenever he chatted with Nault, he would be very cryptic about his background.

"He wouldn't share much of his personal life," Gregerson said.

Marilyn Miller, a neighbour of Nault's, said he has been living with his wife in his apartment on 96th Avenue in Surrey for at least the past 10 years.

She said she believed Nault worked at a hospital and that his wife worked as a cashier.

Miriam Sobrino, a spokeswoman for the Surrey Minor Hockey Association, said Nault worked as a referee-in-chief with the association for the past 10 years. He resigned on May 12 -- citing personal reasons.

Sobrino said Nault, who was named the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association's referee of the year for 1998-99, was not in regular contact with children in his role as referee-in-chief -- a largely administrative position.

"In his 10 years with the association, the association has never received a complaint," Sobrino said.

Jennifer Austin, a spokeswoman with Scouts Canada, said Nault was subject to a criminal records check before taking on his role of cub leader with the West Whalley Troop -- and came up clean.

Austin said the West Whalley Troop is planning to convene a meeting with parents to discuss Nault.

Original article: http://canada.com/national/story.asp?id=1BDFEB39-BA0D-42B5-917D-C25A36BC4F2C

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