Columbia Valley Pioneer staff

The Columbia Valley RCMP is asking any potential witnesses in an alleged child luring case in Invermere to come forward with their information.

Police say a teacher at David Thompson Secondary School (DTSS) has been charged and is facing allegations that he engaged in inappropriate communication with a student.

The RCMP initiated an investigation in January, and based on the information reviewed, the matter was forwarded to the BC Prosecution Service, which approved a charge against Jason Walker on February 13. He is charged with sexual exploitation, making sexually explicit material available to a child, and luring a child.

“The offences took place over the Internet, specifically social media. As such, investigators believe it may be possible other individuals are aware of these offences”, says Cpl. James Grandy, BC RCMP spokesperson. “Police are encouraging anyone who may have further information to contact the Columbia Valley RCMP.”

Walker was arrested and placed on a number of conditions, and is to appear in Columbia Valley Provincial Court on March 4.

The Pioneer attempted to contact Walker through his employment with the Rocky Mountain school district but did not receive a response by email. As of Tuesday night his contact information was still available on the DTSS website.

Steve Wyer, acting superintendent of schools in the district, told the Pioneer that they learned about the charges by the BC Prosecution Service on Tuesday afternoon.

“The district has been aware of this situation for some time. Since the time the employer became aware, the teacher has been on leave,” Wyer said, adding the district is fully cooperating with the RCMP to monitor the situation.

Wyer noted that since the matter is currently before the courts the district will not be providing any additional statements. “The focus for the district continues to be student safety and supports for staff and students through this difficult situation.”