Former Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club president and coach Ken Porter has been charged in connection with several alleged offences involving teen athletes in the mid-1970s and early 1980s.
Porter, 72, was arrested and charged by Edmonton Police with five counts of indecent assault on a male and five counts of gross indecency, confirmed Alberta Crown prosecutor Jayme Williams.
According to an Edmonton Police statement, Porter, then a coach with the Edmonton Olympic Track and Field Club, allegedly “sexually assaulted five underage teen males, while under his supervision between 1976 and 1980.”
The victims’ names have not been made public because they were minors at the time of the alleged offences, but at least three men that now live in B.C. have raised allegations against the former coach.
Athletics Canada commissioner Frank Fowlie released a report in 2019 that accused Porter of sexually interfering with nine teenage male athletes over a span of four decades. Athletics Canada imposed a lifetime ban on Porter.
Fowlie said Tuesday that he was thankful for the subsequent investigation by police in Edmonton.
“We are very glad the Edmonton police service has taken the complaints very seriously and has arrived at a place where these matters will be fairly heard in court,” Fowlie said.
A Postmedia investigation in April of 2019 revealed four men had alleged sexual improprieties while running for the Edmonton Olympic Club under coach Ken Porter in the 1970s, and that Athletics Canada was investigating at least one other allegation.
At the time, Porter denied all the allegations through his lawyer.
A least five men provided statements to the Athletics Canada commissioner’s office in their investigation of sexual-abuse allegations against the high profile track coach.
On March 25, 2019 Athletics Canada suspended Porter, president of the country’s largest and most successful track and field club, the Ottawa Lions, and the club’s head coach, Andy McInnis, pending completion of an investigation into unrelated harassment allegations against McInnis.
André Marin, an independent investigator hired to conduct the investigation into the McInnis allegations, told Postmedia in 2019 that he was investigating both historic and contemporary complaints.
Porter was fired from the Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club on April 29, 2019, and Edmonton Police Service Sexual Assault investigators launched an investigation into the allegations that same month.