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Guilty plea expected from former TV reporter

Former TV reporter Ron Bencze. - FILE PHOTO / THE LEADER
Former TV reporter Ron Bencze.
— image credit: FILE PHOTO / THE LEADER

A former TV reporter accused of numerous child sex charges intends to enter a guilty plea, according to court documents.

Surrey's Ron Bencze pleaded not guilty to nine charges, including sexual assault, sexual interference with a person under the age of 14 and invitation to sexual touching, last year.

However, during a brief court appearance Monday, his lawyer said he plans to enter a new plea. He also asked for enough time for a sentencing hearing on the next court date.

"This case has been extremely difficult for everybody," Bencze's lawyer Eric Gottardi told reporters outside Surrey provincial court.

"He's been labouring under a presumption of innocence that hasn't always really been given effect for him and his family, so it's been very difficult. There's a potential it could come to a close at the next appearance date, but we'll have to see."

Bencze's alleged offences date back 10 years and involve three children.

He also faces a single charge of breaching the conditions of his release from custody after he was allegedly spotted near an elementary school in October.

It is unclear what Bencze plans to plead guilty to and it is not official until he makes the plea in court. No conviction has been entered.

Bencze, a married father of three, had a lengthy, award-winning career in journalism before being fired from his job at Global BC in April 2011 after his arrest.

His next court appearance is scheduled for June 12.

- with files from CTV

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