Brian Batke. (RCMP handout)

Former Cloverdale church elder pleads guilty to sexual assault

Brian Batke, 73, entered guilty plea Feb. 14

Brian Batke has pleaded guilty to sexual assault.

The former Cloverdale Christian Fellowship Church elder pleaded guilty in a court appearance Feb. 14.

According to the B.C. Prosecution Service, Batke entered a guilty plea for one charge while two other charges — connected with the same victim — were stayed.

SEE ALSO: Former Cloverdale church elder will be tried in Supreme Court on sexual assault charges

SEE ALSO: Former Cloverdale church elder accused of sexual assault to enter plea

Both the Crown and the defence submitted a joint recommendation that Batke serve a one-year conditional sentence, which will be followed by one-year of probation. The 73-year-old is also required to submit DNA and register as a sex offender for 20 years.

The alleged incidents occurred in 2005, and were reported to police in 2017. At the time of the incidents, the victim was a minor.

Batke was a member of Cloverdale Christian Fellowship Church, known locally as Cloverdale Church, until 2005. Online records show Batke stayed on as a director of the Cloverdale Christian Fellowship Society, the registered charity which runs Cloverdale Church, until 2007.

Batke worked as a bus driver with Coast Mountain Bus Company for 13 years. Following the announcement of the charges brought against Batke in October 2018, a TransLink spokesperson said at the time Batke had been placed on administrative leave and that “he will not be returning to active duty pending the outcome of the case.”

Surrey RCMP said at the time they released details of Batke’s employment and association with Cloverdale Church “because of their relevance to the allegations against him.” Investigators believe there may be other victims, who may have come into contact with Batke through his work as a church elder or as a bus driver, and they are asking any potential victims to come forward.

SEE ALSO: Former Cloverdale youth pastor convicted of sexual assault to be sentenced in May

Former Cloverdale youth pastor Samuel Emerson, a pastor at the same church, was convicted of sexual assault in November. Emerson will be sentenced in Surrey Provincial Court May 21.

— with Black Press Media files.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

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