Driving instructors

ICBC suspends Steve Wallace’s driving instructor license, police recommend sexual assault charges

A month later Aiko Oye and others went public online detailing the sexual harassment allegations against Victoria’s driving instructor Steve Wallace, she feels relieved.

“My sister’s friends and then their friends knew people, I got messages as far back as the 70s,” Oye said. “It was really exciting to see something happen so quickly.”

According to Oye, documents sent to him by a Victoria police officer show that police are recommending three counts of sexual assault to Crown counsel: one from 2011 and two from 2021, including Oye’s. .

“I was alone in a car with this person. It was a huge abuse of power, and they [Victoria Police] classified it as a sexual assault because of it,” Oye said.

RELATED: Prominent Victoria Driving Instructor Charged With Sexually Harassing Teenage Students

Oye, who is 18, says that during a private driving lesson, Wallace said “I love you” about 15 times and repeatedly touched his hand and shoulders without consent as he spoke.

“I remember backing into a parking space at the Save On Foods arena turning around to look where I was going and he told me to put my arm behind his headrest like we were at our first date,” Oye shared in her. post to Wallace driving school victims on instagram.

“He talked a lot about his anger about meeting me now, he said the other instructors wanted to ‘keep it to themselves’.

Per recognizance documents, Wallace was required to report to a bond supervisor by 4:00 p.m. Monday (October 4).

There are also other conditions listed, including notifying his bond supervisor of any change of address, occupation or employment, and Wallace must not give driving lessons to women unless a third party is present. .

Late Monday afternoon, ICBC announced that it had permanently revoked Wallace’s teaching license.

“Over the past few weeks, ICBC has taken direct statements from individuals who have made allegations of unconscionable conduct, including sexual harassment, against Mr. Wallace. Following the findings of the ICBC investigation, we have made the decision to permanently revoke Mr. Wallace’s driving instructor license, subject to a 30-day window for Mr. Wallace to appeal,” ICBC said in a statement to CHEK News.

Before police recommended charges, in a statement to CHEK News, Wallace apologized.

“I’m so sorry for doing anything that made anyone feel uncomfortable. Learning to drive is a process where confidence is built in a short time. I’m in a position of trust and I am appalled to learn that my actions and words are seen as a breach of that trust.

In the police recognizance agreement, Wallace is also to have no contact with the three alleged victims. It was something Oye was relieved to discover.

“He knows where I live, that’s where he picked me up and dropped me off for lessons, which is obviously a scary thing to know right now,” Oye said.

The recognizance documents also indicate a tentative court date of November 25, 2021. However, a criminal lawyer says that date is not set in stone and is still subject to whether the Crown prosecutor approves the charges suggested by the police.

“In British Columbia, the police don’t charge people with offenses they would investigate and they can make a recommendation, but that’s really it,” said Michael Mulligan, a criminal defense attorney at Victoria.

“You would want to be careful not to assume that the person who received a recognizance is either guilty of an offense or that they are going to be charged with an offense, neither of which can happen. “

For Oye, she hopes even the police recommending charges to the Crown attorney is a sign that things are changing.

“It’s been really empowering to know that this isn’t just going to fall into the pile of unfounded cases and it’s actually going to be investigated, like all should be,” Oye said.

Victoria Police could not confirm any of the information.

“We are unable to confirm the information. We believe survivors of sexual violence. We take reports of sexual violence seriously and want survivors to know that we will listen to them. For more information on materials which you can access, please visit: vicpd.ca/webdoyoubelieve”, VicPD spokesman Bowen Osoko said in a statement.

Wallace has not been charged with a crime and none of the allegations have been proven in court.

If you have been a victim of sexual violence, you can contact the Sexual Assault Center of Victoria.

[email protected]