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Former B.C. Pride society president charged with child porn offences

The North Peace Pride Society says it ‘took swift actions’ to vote to remove board member

The former president of a Fort St. John Pride society is facing several sex crimes charges, including two related to child pornography offenses.

Sean Edward Leonard Gravells is charged with sexual interference, sexual exploitation, possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography, B.C. Prosecution Service’s Dan McLaughlin confirmed to Black Press Media on Tuesday (Jan. 9).

The charges of sexual interference and sexual exploitation are alleged to have happened on Dec. 29, 2023, while the child pornography offenses are alleged to have happened on Dec. 31. All alleged incidents happened at or near Fort St. John.

McLaughlin said Gravells made his first court appearance on Jan. 1, and is scheduled to appear again on Jan. 29 for an arraignment hearing.

There is a publication ban in place.

A now-deleted webpage on the North Peace Pride Society’s website says Gravells had been involved with the society since 2017, becoming president in March 2018.

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The North Peace Pride Society posted a statement to its social media on Jan. 5, noting the society is aware of the arrest and subsequent charges of one of its former board members.

“One of our board members was arrested and is facing severe charges inconsistent with the North Peace Pride Society’s mission and code of conduct. In response to the gravity of the charges, we have immediately removed this person from our board, emphasizing our commitment to our community’s values.”

Due to the sensitivity of the situation and privacy considerations, the society said it delayed its statement but “took swift actions” to vote to remove the individual from their position on Jan. 3. It adds that while some board members work directly with youth, the person charged was not among them.

“We want to clarify that the society itself is not implicated in any charges; these are isolated to the individual.”

The charges against Gravells have not been proven in court.

Black Press Media has reached out to Fort St. John RCMP and the North Peace Pride Society.

READ MORE: Over 2,500 images of child porn discovered on B.C. man’s computer: police