Vernon News

Vernon sex assault charge dropped against accused murderer

Vernon Courthouse

VERNON - A sexual assault case in Vernon Provincial Court has been abandoned by the B.C. Prosecution Service.

William Victor Schneider is no longer being prosecuted for attempted sexual assault after the charge was stayed by the Crown on Sept. 14. Schneider is still charged with the murder of a Japanese student studying in Vancouver. 

Schneider was arrested in Vernon on Sept. 28, 2016 — the same day of the alleged sexual assault — in connection with the death of Natsumi Kogawa, whose body was found on the grounds of a vacant mansion in Vancouver.

No details were ever released about the alleged sexual assault in Vernon, which is no longer being pursued by the B.C. Prosecution Service. 

“I can confirm a stay of proceedings was directed on Mr. Schneider’s sexual assault file… because, based on review of the all the materials available, the prosecutor concluded that the charge approval standard could no longer be met,” acting communications counsel Alisia Adams says by email.

Charges are only approved when Crown counsel is satisfied the evidence gathered by the investigative agency provides a substantial likelihood of conviction and, if so, that prosecution in the public interest, Adams says. 

Schneider remains in custody in relation to charges of murder and indignity to human remains out of Vancouver Provincial Court. A preliminary inquiry is scheduled to start on Oct. 16, 2017.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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