Prince Rupert RCMP investigating former minor hockey coach

Prince Rupert RCMP are now investigating a former minor hockey coach who had sexual assault related charges laid against him in Alberta.

Prince Rupert RCMP are now investigating a former minor hockey coach who had sexual assault related charges laid against him in Alberta.

The coaching and refereeing activities of Robert John Paolinelli, 42, during his time in Prince Rupert Minor Hockey back in the mid-eighties to late nineties are being investigated after charges of sexual assault, sexual exploitation and forcible confinement were laid in Alberta and a complaint received by the Prince Rupert RCMP. RCMP say they are investigating “allegations of historical sexual assault” against Paolinelli.

“To date, we have spoken to one young man who made the difficult decision to speak with investigators and we believe that there may be others who were victimized by Paolinelli, during his tenure as a hockey coach/referee in Prince Rupert,” said Cpl. Dan Moskaluk, Senior Media Relations Officer with the RCMP, stressing that supporting the victims is a key concern for the RCMP.

“Given the stigma and long lasting negative effects suffered by victims of such crimes, we have an important role to play not only in investigating the allegations, but in ensuring that the appropriate support is provided for victims of these crimes. This support includes maintaining their privacy throughout the investigation and are asking that victims or witnesses come forward.”

Anyone with information regarding the investigation is asked to call 250-627-0700.