A teacher from Creston’s Kootenay River Secondary School has been arrested and is facing multiple charges of sexual offences against two students.
Kianuko Wayne (Ki) Louie, who was born in 1990, has been charged with possession of child pornography, sexual assault, criminal harassment, extortion, sexual exploitation, and the use of telecommunications to lure a child under 18.
Creston RCMP detachment commander Staff Sgt. Brandon Buliziuk says they conducted a thorough investigation over the summer.
“It was important for us to consider the overall integrity of this investigation combined with the importance of respecting privacy, but most importantly considering other potential victims that may be out there.”
Despite there already being two alleged victims, Buliziuk says there could be more.
“Some communications occurred over the internet, and possibly social media. Given this, it may be possible that other individuals may have knowledge of these offences, and simply haven’t come forward yet”, said Buliziuk in a release.
“Police are wanting anyone who may have any knowledge of these offences to please come forward.
Buliziuk stressed Louie is innocent until proven guilty.
“Although charges have been laid, there is that presumption of innocence until the matter has made its way through the legal process inclusive of court and trial. So it is important to recognize that, these are allegations. However, they are formal charges.”
He adds such charges could have a significant effect on reputation in a small community like Creston.
“Being a teacher in a small community, this is something that has a profound impact on our community and on many students that have attended the school. And it’s something that will no doubt be in the minds of everybody for quite some time.”
The crimes were alleged to have taken place while Louie was teaching at KRSS between October 2022 and June 2023. According to online court records, the sexual exploitation, possession of child pornography, child luring, and sexual assault charges are all alleged to have occurred on May 1, 2022 and the criminal harassment and extortion on Jan. 1 of this year.
Louie has since been released from custody on multiple conditions, including that he has no contact with the victims, and to stay away from public parks, schools, and places where children are expected to be. He will next be in court Sept. 28.
In an email, school district superintendent Trish Smillie said “students and their safety are at the centre of everything that we do. All reports of wrongdoing are taken seriously. Our process, when receiving a serious report is to investigate the concern and work with the RCMP as necessary.
“We recognize the impact any report of wrongdoing and the effect that this may have on students and their families and the distress it can cause. Students may seek support through a trusted adult at the school and make reports to their school principal.”
Smillie said Louie is on leave from the school district, but it’s not clear how long that has been the case. Louie’s first court appearance was Sept. 8 in Kelowna.
Among other things, Louie was instrumental in having the school’s name changed from Prince Charles Secondary. In 2019, he spearheaded having the Yaqan Nukiy flag raised at the school. Then-school district superintendent Christine Perkins said she was proud of Louie’s leadership.
Meanwhile, Buliziuk is reaching out to potential victims, saying there is no shame.
“We want them to know that we are here for them. We will make sure that their needs are addressed. We will have victim services available for anybody wanting to come forward. We can tailor our approach in speaking with them to their needs and preferences,” he said.
“The care of the victims that come forward to us is of the utmost importance, and we encourage them to come forward. We recognize the burden that that may carry for them. We will be here to support them when they do.”
Anyone with any information related to the case is asked to contact the Creston RCMP detachment.