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Suspect charged: New West police appeal for additional sexual assault victims to come forward

A man employed by a New Westminster-based recovery program has been charged with three counts of sexual assault
Charges laid: Police are asking victims to come forward if they have not done so, after a man was charged with sexual assault. photo James C Hooper/Moment/Getty Images

A Vancouver man employed by a New West-based recovery service has been charged with sex offences – and police are encouraging any additional victims and witnesses to come forward.

The New Westminster Police Department reports that its Major Crime Unit, with the assistance of the Specialized Investigations Unit, launched an investigation in early 2023 into a number sexual offences allegedly connected to an individual employed by an organization offering substance-use recovery services.

“The investigation is ongoing because our investigators believe that there may be more witnesses,” NWPD spokesperson Sgt. Andrew Leaver said at a press conference. “We’d like to encourage those witnesses to come forward and speak with us.”

To date, a total of 11 victims have come forward to police, said the New Westminster Police Department.

Investigators, however, said they have reason to believe there may be additional victims who have yet to share their story with police. Investigators are continuing to gather evidence and to talk to witnesses.

“To anyone who’s considering coming forward and sharing their story, if they’ve been a victim or are a survivor of sexual assault, I would encourage them to come and speak with us,” Leaver said. “We know that this is difficult. We know that bringing up the past and old trauma may be triggering again, but our investigators are trained in trauma-informed practice and our Victim Assistance Unit is here to support the survivors through this process. So we want to hear the stories and we want to hear them on the victims’ time. We’re here for them.”

A private Facebook group that was set up about an individual who was alleged to have assaulted people included a file number for the New Westminster Police Department’s investigation.

“The victims and survivors got together on social media and then reported to the police early this year, which is the first time we had heard about this offense,” Leaver said.

A NWPD news release said victims have told police they gained the courage to come forward after sharing their experiences and connecting with one another on social media.

According to Leaver, the investigation includes alleged incidents spanning several years. He was unaware of any allegations being reported to the police department before the Major Crime Unit began its investigation in January 2023.

“This offense came to our attention through social media, in that a number of victims and survivors got together and shared their stories with each other, gathered the strength and then made their reports to police,” Leaver said.

Anyone who is a victim of a sex related offence, or has information about sex-related offences of vulnerable women, is asked to call the New Westminster Police Department’s Major Crime Unit tip line at 604-529-2430 or email to [email protected].

“It’s widely known that sexual assault is under-reported. It’s an offense that’s difficult to talk about, which is why we’re trying to remove those barriers for victims and survivors to come speak with us,” Leaver said. “Even though it has been a significant amount of time that’s passed since maybe some of the allegations were made, it doesn’t mean that those were necessarily reported to us. And we understand why those things might happen.”

Adam Haber, a 50-year-old Vancouver resident, has been charged with three counts of sexual assault. He has been released on conditions that restrict him from having contact with certain individual or going to certain locations.