Interior Health’s chief medical health officer has been arrested in Kelowna on two charges relating to sex crimes against a child.
The Alberta RCMP confirmed to Black Press that Dr. Albert de Villiers, the health authority’s top doctor, was arrested on one count of sexual assault and one count of sexual interference on Tuesday afternoon (June 8) in Kelowna.
Both charges are out of Grande Prairie, Alta., where de Villiers previously worked as that province’s north zone lead medical health officer.
RCMP in Grande Prairie began investigating on May 28 after receiving a report of sexual offences against a young child that had allegedly taken place between 2018 and 2020.
De Villiers took the role of chief medical health officer in Interior Health in August 2020. Through most of last year, he has been the face of Interior B.C.’s COVID-19 pandemic response, speaking on behalf of the health authority and appearing at regular online press conferences.
Interior Health refused to comment on the matter, but confirmed the role of chief medical health officer will be filled on an interim basis for the remainder of this week and Dr. Sue Pollock will take the position at the beginning of next week.
Pollock previously served as Interior Health’s interim chief medical health officer between January 2020 and August 2020.
De Villiers remains in custody, awaiting a bail hearing.