Former North Okanagan gym coach to plead guilty to possessing obscene materials - InfoNews

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Former North Okanagan gym coach to plead guilty to possessing obscene materials

Vernon Supreme Court
November 20, 2018 - 11:55 AM

VERNON - A former gymnastics coach in the North Okanagan won't be tried for child pornography charges.

Chad Andrew McDowell, born in 1975, is expected to plead guilty later this month to a rare charge of possession of obscene materials for the purpose of circulation. 

McDowell was due to stand trial in Vernon Supreme Court today, Nov. 20, on charges of possessing, accessing, and importing or distributing child pornography. The offence dates back to Apr. 1, 2017, according to court records, but he wasn't charged until June 2017.

The "matter came down to the eleventh hour," before a plea deal could be reached, defence counsel Julian Van Der Walle said on the morning of trial. He said they would avoid the trial, move the case to provincial court and McDowell would plead guilty later to the lesser charge.

McDowell was a gymnastics coach at various gyms throughout his life, including in the North Okanagan. 

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