Gordon Alvin Hazlewood

North Shore News via Canada.com - Jul 23/08

Convicted pedophile and former West Vancouver lawyer Gordon Alvin Hazlewood has been charged once again with sexually abusing a child.

The charges stem from assaults dating back to the mid-1970s.

Hazlewood, 74, is currently in prison serving a 12-month sentence for abusing six boys in the 1970s. The latest charges approved against him are for gross indecency and indecent assault on a person under 14 years of age

The alleged male victim, who has asked not to be named, has only now come forward to police to speak about what he says happened to him in 1975 and 1976. At the time, Hazlewood was involved in numerous community organizations and children's groups.

West Vancouver police spokesman Cpl. Fred Harding said he wants to encourage anyone with similar experiences -- no matter how far in the past -- to shed their fears and speak with the police.

"We really do recognize how difficult it is for people to come forward," Harding said.

"If they can find the strength to come out and speak, there are people here who will listen and we will do everything we can to find them justice."

The West Vancouver Police Department has officers on staff that are specifically trained to help victims of childhood sexual assault.

Harding said the informant credited media coverage of Hazlewood's recent trial and conviction as his motivation for speaking to police. In previous North Shore News articles, Harding encouraged other possible victims to come forward with their own stories.

The investigation into Hazlewood isn't the only case that has benefited from public exposure, Harding said. After broadcasts of last weekend's rally against sex abuse in West Vancouver, he said he received several phone calls from people compelled to speak out about their own, unrelated, experiences as children.

"The messages that are left on my telephone leave you with this gut-wrenching feeling," said Harding.

This is Hazlewood's second time in jail. In 1992, he was incarcerated for 15 months after being convicted of 268 counts of income tax breach for defrauding 150 investors -- including some high-profile professional hockey players.

Following the completion of his current prison term, the registered sex offender will serve three years of probation, and is banned from places frequented by children under the age of 16, including parks, swimming pools and community centres, unless accompanied by another adult. He is also prohibited from working or volunteering at a place where he would be in contact with that age group.