Surrey bowling alley owner facing sex charges

The co-owner of a Surrey bowling establishment has been charged with seven sex-related offences involving minors.

Thomas Charles Cooper, 43, faces two counts each of sexual exploitation, exposing genitals to a person under 16, communicate via computer to lure a child under 16 and one count of sexual interference of a person under 16

The alleged offences took place between June 2012 and March 2013.

Surrey RCMP confirmed the charges Monday, saying they were laid last May after a two-month investigation.

Cooper is owner of Dell Lanes and Sports Lounge. The allegations have not been proven in court.

Cooper told The Leader Monday the charges levied against him are patently false.

"Oh yeah, we've got a good lawyer and we're going to be fighting it and we'll prove it in court," Cooper said. "That's all we can do."

He said it's unfortunate that even unproven allegations might damage the business he's owned for 11 years.

"They're charges, they're not convictions," Cooper said. "It's a shame, because it could hurt a lot of people working and a lot of the employees we have here could lose their jobs (if the business takes a downturn because of it)."

Surrey RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet said police did not warn the public about Cooper because investigators saw little likelihood of other victims.

And though conditions were put on Cooper that he not be anywhere that anyone under age 18 may be expected to be, the conditions do not apply to his workplace.

"Mr. Cooper has been charged, not convicted, so based on that, we can't take his livelihood away from him," said Paquet. "However, strict conditions were set to ensure the safety of everybody attending his place of employment, which is a public place."

Paquet said he is also being closely monitored by police.

Cooper's next court appearance is scheduled for March 11 and his trial is slated to begin April 14.

– with files from Kevin Diakiw

Comments are closed

You might like ...

Container recycling lags in Metro Vancouver
Empty coal trains to continue travelling on lightly-used SRY line in North Langley until Nov. 30
Total crime up 21 per cent so far this year
Local government terms going to four years
First-degree murder charge in 2013 South Surrey homicide
First Iraq missions over, no bombs dropped
Transit investment key to Metro Vancouver future, conference hears (with VIDEO)
Banners honour Pitt Meadows vets
WOLF land deal is now dead

Community Events, November 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 30 edition online now. Browse the archives.