Following inquiries by local media, the Guelph Police Service has made public charges against a former lacrosse coach in regards to a historical luring a child and sexual exploitation case.
On Monday the Ontario Lacrosse Association issued a press release regarding the suspension of Ontario Minor Field Lacrosse League executive Josh Briscoe, also known as Josh Ogburn, in response to being alerted about criminal charges against the man.
When contacted, Guelph police say a complaint was filed in Guelph and Briscoe/Ogburn, who currently lives in St. Catharines, was arrested on Jan. 19 and released with a May court date in Guelph. Details were not released to media at that time.
At the time of the alleged incident, the accused was a resident of Orangeville.
On Monday, following the release of the Ontario Lacrosse Association press release, GuelphToday contacted police for details. They were provided in a news release on Wednesday.
Guelph police has a policy in place in which it does not name accused except in extraordinary circumstances.
Scott Tracey, media relations coordinator with the Guelph Police Service, said no news release had been sent out about the arrest in January. He added that the media unit only became aware of the charges this week.
Officers are encouraged to flag matters which may be of interest to the media, said Tracey, but he noted that does not always happen.
“Not releasing these matters should not be seen as a wilful attempt to conceal them, but more likely are a result of the investigating officer simply not thinking of alerting the Media Unit or other factors such as publication bans, protecting the integrity of an ongoing investigation, etc.,” said Tracey.
On Wednesday, the Guelph police news release it said was initiated in January in response to an issue that occurred between 2006 and 2007 and involved a victim who was 17 years of age at the time. The complaint was filed with Guelph police.
GPS took the extraordinary step to name Briscoe/Ogburn in its news release.
“Privacy laws prohibit the disclosure of additional details,” said the GPS news release. “However, the Guelph Police Service wants the public to be aware of this individual who, at the time of the offence, was involved with the Ontario Lacrosse Association. Protection of the public and protecting victims of crime is a top priority.”
In its news release, OLA said it is continuing to do everything it can to support the Guelph Police Service through its investigation, with respect for the privacy of everyone involved to the fullest extent possible.
The Ontario Lacrosse Association immediately suspended Briscoe/Ogburn.
“The suspension was issued immediately after the Ontario Lacrosse Association was alerted of the charges and possible misconduct,” said the release by OLA.
Guelph police are asking anyone with information believed to be relevant to the incident or any other involving the accused to to contact Det. Const. Dave Gamsby at 519-824-1212, ext. 7505 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.