Neighbours stunned after senior charged in historic sex assault of minor
Friends of a Central Saanich senior charged in the historic sexual assault of a minor say they are shocked by the allegations against him.
Andre “Andy” Van Goor, who worked as a supervisor at Royal Athletic Park from 1988 to 2003, was arrested on charges of sexual exploitation and sexual assault on Tuesday.
Court documents show the charges relate to alleged incidents between 1989 and 1992 in either Victoria or Saanich.
It’s unclear whether the alleged offences took place at Royal Athletic Park, or somewhere else.
Long-time neighbours of Van Goor who heard the news were stunned, and say that isn’t the man they know.
“He is a wonderful man, a kind soul,” said neighbour Victoria Nowak. “He was the first man to welcome me here, and he’s out there to help everybody that needs help. You see people standing in his driveway talking to him all the time.”
“I am absolutely shocked, I really am. This is a big surprise,” said Carolyne Heard. “That’s the last thing I would’ve ever thought.”
Contacted by CTV News, Van Goor said the charges are only allegations before hanging up.
Police have been investigating the 75-year-old since 2015 and believe their work is not done, asking those who might know something to come forward.
“They’re continuing their investigation and believe there are additional victims and witnesses out there,” Victoria Police spokesman Const. Matt Rutherford said Thursday. “So we’re encouraging anyone that knows this gentleman or activities that he’s had with youth or children to call us.”
But some who know him say little has changed and they’ll support Van Goor through the ordeal.
“Don’t believe everything you hear. Wait until all the facts come in before you judge him,” said Nowak.
Van Goor will make his next court appearance on Feb. 22.
None of the allegations against him have been proven in court.