KENTVILLE, NS - A former Annapolis Valley tennis instructor facing child luring charges has changed his court election on one count and scheduled hearing dates have changed.
Aaron Byron Cumberland, 27, who according to court documents is currently of no fixed address and is staying at a hostel, was not present in Kentville provincial court on Feb. 27. He had earlier elected to have four charges alleged to have occurred in Windsor dealt with by Supreme Court judge and jury.
With the consent of the Crown, Byron has pleaded not guilty to one of the four charges and re-elected trial by provincial court judge. This charge alleges that, in Windsor between March 1 and June 30, 2017, Cumberland communicated with a person under age 18 via telecommunications for the purpose of facilitating the commission of an offence under Section 163.1 of the Criminal Code. This section relates to child pornography. The matter has been adjourned to Oct. 3 for trial.
Cumberland has maintained his election of Supreme Court judge and jury on the three other charges alleged to have occurred in Windsor. These include communicating with a person under age 16 by means of telecommunications for the purpose of facilitating the commission of an offence under Section 152 of the Criminal Code, which relates to invitation to sexual touching; making sexually explicit material available to a person under age 16 and invitation to sexual touching. It’s alleged that Cumberland committed these offences between Nov. 2 and 5, 2017. A preliminary inquiry on these three counts has been re-scheduled to June 21.
Cumberland is facing a second count of communicating with a person under the age of 18 by means of telecommunications for the purpose of facilitating the commission of an offence relating to child pornography. It’s alleged that this offence was committed in Kentville between March 1 and June 30, 2016. Cumberland pleaded not guilty to this charge and elected trial by provincial court judge on Jan. 30. His trial on this matter has been rescheduled to Oct. 10.
Cumberland was released from custody on his own $1,000 recognizance with conditions following a Nov. 20 appearance in Halifax provincial court.
His release conditions include not possessing any electronic device capable of accessing the Internet. He was ordered to deposit his passport with the Lower Sackville RCMP. Cumberland is to permit the police to search for electronic devices if they attend his place of residence to check compliance. He is to have no direct or indirect contact or communication with anyone under the age of 18 unless the contact is incidental.
Cumberland turned himself in to the Halifax Regional Police on Nov. 17 after the RCMP released his name and photo, asking for assistance from the public to locate Cumberland.
Cumberland, a former Kentville resident, was named Tennis Nova Scotia’s Coach of the Year in 2013. He worked as executive director of the CANgaroo Athletic Association, which put on tennis skill development sessions - including school programs - in several Kings and Hants county communities.
The identities of the three alleged victims are protected by publication bans. Charges against Cumberland have not been proven in court.