Former West Kelowna resident charged with child luring to face trial by judge alone

Jonathan Karl Bruenig will return to court June 25 to set a trial date.

A former West Kelowna resident who had involvement with a number of junior hockey teams pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a series of charges that include child luring as well as making, possessing and distributing child pornography.

Jonathan Karl Bruenig will return to court June 25 to set a trial date, according to the court registry in Alberta. He’s elected to have his trial by provincial court judge alone.

The 34-year-old Grande Prairie resident was arrested Jan. 23 after he allegedly lured and attempted to sexually assault a boy from the community.

The Internet Child Exploitation Unit of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team said at the time of Bruenig’s arrest he often posed as a teenage girl on social media and online conversations sparked would progress from sexualized chats to sharing explicit photos and videos.

Attempts, they allege, were made to meet with the boys.

West Kelowna Warriors’ co-owner Mark Cheyne said in a previous interview with the Kelowna Capital News that Bruenig was a volunteer for the team, primarily on game days. Occasionally he served as a goal judge and also performed other tasks, but was mostly seen as a fan of the team.

Cheyne was not sure of the time frame, but estimates it’s been at least eight years since Bruenig has attended Warriors’ games.

“He didn’t have access to the team dressing rooms,” adds Cheyne.

Investigators are also working with other police agencies to investigate similar alleged offences in the Northwest Territories, northern B.C. and Australia.

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