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Surrey bowling alley owner pleads guilty to child sex charge

  - File Photo / The Leader
— image credit: File Photo / The Leader

The co-owner of a Surrey bowling alley has pleaded guilty to a sex charge involving a minor.

Thomas Charles Cooper, 43, was in Surrey Provincial Court last Friday (April 11), where he entered a guilty plea to one charge of sexual interference.

Sexual interference refers to touching, for a sexual purpose, any part of the body of a person under the age of 16 years.

As reported in The Leader in February, Cooper was charged with several sex-related offences in May 2013. Court records show his other charges include sexual assault and two counts of exposing his genitals to someone under 16 – charges which will likely be stayed after he is sentenced.

When the allegations hit the newspaper earlier this year, Cooper, who co-owns Dell Lanes and Sports Lounge, vehemently denied the charges.

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

While his bail conditions include that he not be anywhere anyone under age 18 may be present, the conditions don't apply to his workplace and he has been allowed to continue at Dell Lanes.

His sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 19 in Surrey.

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