POLITICS

Former city councillor in Saint John, N.B., faces sex charges in Newfoundland

05/31/2013 11:31 EDT | Updated 07/31/2013 05:12 EDT
CORNER BROOK, N.L. - The former city councillor in Saint John, N.B., who pleaded guilty to charges of sexual assault and child pornography faces more charges in Newfoundland.

Donnie Snook is to appear June 11 in provincial court in Corner Brook, N.L.

Court documents say the 41-year-old former church pastor is charged with two counts each of sexual assault and sexual interference.

The charges involve one boy, who was less than 14 years of age, when the incidents allegedly occurred in the mid-1990s.

Information sworn before the court on May 24 says the alleged offences happened between Dec. 1, 1995, and April 1, 1996, and between July and August of 1996.

The first two offences are alleged to have happened at or near Mount Moriah, N.L., while the second two were at or near Barachois Pond Park southeast of Stephenville.

Snook pleaded guilty Wednesday in Saint John, N.B., to 46 charges including sexual assault and possessing, distributing and making child pornography. He was arrested in January by the RCMP after police in Saint John and Toronto launched a joint investigation in 2011.

Investigators seized computer equipment and images when Snook's east-end home was searched.

The RCMP says the New Brunswick crimes began in January 2001 until Snook's arrest and involved 17 boys, most of them Saint John residents, who were between the ages of five and 15 at the time of the offences.

Snook was elected to city council in 2008 and was known for his work with the Inner City Youth Ministry, providing sports programs, mentoring and school lunch programs. He was executive director of the youth ministry for 14 years.

His crimes shocked the community. Crown prosecutor Karen Lee Lamrock said she'd never dealt with a similar case involving so many victims.

Snook is due back in court in Saint John on June 25 to set a date for sentencing.