Brian Batke, a former Cloverdale Christian Fellowship Church elder who is facing sexual assault charges, will be in court next year to set a date for his trial, after the defence counsel asked to postpone the proceedings until Jan. 10.
In early October, Surrey RCMP announced that 72-year-old Batke had been charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of sexual exploitation. An second count of exploitation was added before Batke’s court date on Dec. 6.
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 not present for his appearance at Surrey provincial court Thursday (Dec. 6).
According to RCMP, Batke was a member of Cloverdale Christian Fellowship Church, known locally as Cloverdale Church, but he ended his association with the church in 2005.
However, online records show that he was a director of the Cloverdale Christian Fellowship Society, the registered charity which runs Cloverdale Church, from 2005 to 2007.
Batke worked as a bus driver with Coast Mountain Bus Company for 13 years. Following the announcement of the charges brought against Batke, a TransLink spokesperson said he has been placed on administrative leave and that “he will not be returning to active duty pending the outcome of the case.”
Surrey RCMP released details of Batke’s employment and association with Cloverdale Church “because of their relevance to the allegations against him.” Investigators believe that 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.
To contact investigators regarding this case, call Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502.
Batke, a Cloverdale resident, is not in custody. He has a court appearance scheduled for Jan. 10, 2019.
The news of the charges against Batke came almost exactly a year after Surrey RCMP announced that former Cloverdale Church pastor Samuel Emerson and his wife Madelaine had been charged with sexual assault.
On Oct. 3, 2017, Surrey RCMP revealed that they had received several allegations of sexual assault against the Emersons in May 2017.