Tuesday, April 22, 1997

Staff Reporter

p. A4.

Teachers, coach on list of accused

Two schoolteachers and a minor-hockey coach have been arrested by the Vancouver police vice squad.

They're among 30 men charged with various criminal offences and whose names were released by police yesterday.

Lionel Henry Brown, a 52-year-old Delta elementary-school teacher, has been suspended with pay after being charged with obtaining or attempting to obtain for consideration the sexual services of a person under 18 years of age.

Brown, a longtime instructor for the Delta school district, is to appear in court in August.

Police say the alleged offence took place last summer at Pandora and Victoria in east Vancouver.

A second teacher, Michael McWhinnie of Osoyoos, was charged with communicating for the purposes of engaging in prostitution.

Osoyoos schools superintendent Hart Doerksen said the 51-year-old is "not at work" but refused to discuss the matter.

Police say the alleged offence happened at Franklin and Woodland on March 19 during the spring break. McWhinnie is scheduled to appear in court tomorrow.

Charged with communicating for the purposes of engaging in prostitution was Philip Eugene Grassi, 49, a North Vancouver minor-hockey-league coach and firefighter.

Police say the alleged offence occurred April 2 at Pandora and Victoria.

Grassi coached eight-and nine-year-old hockey players during the 1996-97 season that ended last month.

"We've had absolutely no complaints from either parents or children about Mr. Grassi's conduct throughout the year," said North Vancouver Minor Hockey Association president Robert Jamieson.

Grassi's court date is set at May 8.

The Province generally does not reprint police lists of those charged with prostitution offences. But exceptions may be made in cases where public-safety issues are involved.

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Created: April 23, 1997
Last modified: July 2, 1997

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