The sexual touching trial for a Chilliwack man who was in charge of sports and social programming for children and teens at a local recreation centre began in BC Supreme Court on Sept. 3.
Codie Alain Anderson has been accused of sexually touching more than one boy but is facing just one charge of sexual interference under 16 in the current trial, which was scheduled to be heard by judge and jury but is now judge alone.
Anderson — who is more known in the community by his former name Codie Hindle — is accused of sexually touching an 11-year-old boy in 2010. The complainant, who has not yet taken the witness stand, is now 20.
A publication ban covers the name of the complainant and all Crown witnesses because they are family members, which could serve to identify the alleged victim.
The first witness called by Crown counsel Henry Waldock was the step-mother of the complainant. She had worked at the Cheam Centre in Chilliwack, which was run by the YMCA at the time and then Leisure Recreation Group after 2010.
The witness told the court she considered Anderson to be her best friend at the time.
Waldock opened with an outline of the Crown’s case including that Anderson slept over at the family’s house on one occasion. The complainant claimed Anderson touched his genitalia more than once while he was sleeping.
The witness said Anderson was in charge of all social and sports programming for children at the YMCA-run facility. He ran an event called Freakout Fridays, which later changed to the Friday Night Overdrive when Leisure Recreation Group took over in 2010. That event allowed parents to drop children off to Friday evening events, which included a sleepover in the gym.
Waldock and defence lawyer Martin Finch cross-examined the victim’s stepmother Tuesday on the first day of the trial. Both asked detailed questions about her work at the Cheam Centre, with Finch focusing in part on the Friday Night Overdrive.
She said she worked with Anderson with the sleepover event so that there was a female leader for the girls in attendance. Finch asked about details of the sleepovers at the Cheam Centre.
“The girls would set up in one room and the boys [would be] in Codie’s office at the time,” she said. “We’d get together and have a movie in the girls’ room, and after the movie we’d go into our separate rooms and go to bed.”
The witness also talked about overnight camping events Anderson did with young people. There was also one specific instance of the complainant going camping alone with Anderson unrelated to formal youth programming activities.
Anderson sat behind his lawyer in courtroom 202 on Tuesday. He wore a shirt, tie and blazer and elicited no emotion as evidence was heard.
In the years prior to allegations against him, the now 36-year-old Anderson was involved in other youth sports in the community coaching basketball at G.W. Graham and with the Chilliwack Sports Academy that put on the Steve Nash Youth Basketball.
The mother of another alleged victim told The Progress in early 2018 that while sleeping over in a tent with Anderson, her 11-year-old son was sexually touched.
“I can only imagine how many victims are out there,” she said.
After the charge against Anderson was laid in February of 2018, Chilliwack RCMP said there may be other victims.
“We are mindful that there may be other victims who have not reported to police, we encourage you to talk to your children about any contact they may have had with Mr. Hindle,” said Chilliwack RCMP Staff Sgt. Darren Stevely.
The victim of the charge that is going ahead now also spoke to the newspaper in 2018 urging others to come forward.
In early 2016, aged 17, he went to police with the allegations about what he says happened to him in May 2010 when he was just 11.
“My opinion is there are more people,” the now 19-year-old said. “Someone like that just doesn’t stop randomly.”
None of the allegations against Anderson have been proven in court.
When the story on the charges first broke, Anderson was apparently working as an events co-ordinator and coach at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU). When asked in March 2018 if he was still employed or on leave, a spokesperson for the school declined to respond citing “privacy laws.”
As of Oct. 4, his photo was still on the KPU website. By last week, at least, it was down.
The trial, which started Sept. 3 is to continue Tuesday afternoon and is expected to run for at least two weeks.