Former foster parent’s sexual abuse trial set for fall of 2012

By Daryl Slade, Calgary Herald

A trial has been set for nearly a year down the road for a former foster parent accused of sexually abusing three boys in his care.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Suzanne Bensler set the eight-day trial to begin next Oct. 15 for Garry Dale Prokopishin, 52, charged with three counts of having sexual contact with a youth by a person in authority.

Crown prosecutor Gary Cornfield and defence lawyers Bina Border and Ian McKay will also argue for two days starting Oct. 1 on the admissibility of evidence.

Prokopishin originally faced 13 charges relating to six alleged victims, but several of those charges were withdrawn following a two-day preliminary hearing in October.

Police have said the assaults occurred at the accused’s Calgary home and at locations outside the city between 2001 and 2008, when the complainants were in their mid-teens.

Prokopishin, a former director of the Calgary and District Foster Parents Association, was named Foster Family of the Year in 2007.

He will be back in court on Jan. 20 to confirm details of the trial.