Vancouver art teacher charged with sexual assault of student, 9

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Vancouver police is warning the public about South Vancouver art teacher Shao Zhai Chen after a 9-year-old student came forward with allegations of sexual assault. (Vancouver Police - image credit)
Vancouver police is warning the public about South Vancouver art teacher Shao Zhai Chen after a 9-year-old student came forward with allegations of sexual assault. (Vancouver Police - image credit)

An art instructor operating in South Vancouver has been charged after a nine-year-old student came forward with allegations of sexual assault.

Shao Zhai Chen, 50, is facing one count of sexual assault, one count of sexual interference and one count of invitation to sexual touching, Vancouver police said in a statement Tuesday.

The nine-year-old child had been left in Chen's care on March 22 for an art class at his home near East 64th Avenue and Prince Edward Street, the statement said.

"This is a very disturbing incident where a child was left under the care of an adult and that adult allegedly took advantage of her," says onst. Tania Visintin.

Police are releasing an image of Chen in the hope that any parents of children attending Chen's residence could provide more information to help their investigation.

"Investigators are concerned there may be other children that have attended Chen's residence and could have more information or be of assistance to this investigation," Visintin said.

Chen is described as an Asian man, about five feet eight inches tall, with black and white hair, who wears glasses.

He has been released on bail on condition he does not have any contact with children under the age of 16 unless in the presence of their parents, or in the presence of another adult approved of by the bail supervisor, the statement said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Vancouver Police Department investigators at 604-717-0604.