Victoria driving school instructor and former Quesnel mayor Steve Wallace has been arrested on allegations of sexual assault, documents obtained by Black Press Media show.
The Victoria Police Department and ICBC launched an investigation into Wallace in September after dozens of his driving school students shared allegations of sexual harassment against him on an Instagram page. The women, many of whom were teens at the time of the harassment and whose allegations stretch back to the 1980s, claim the now 72-year-old man took advantage of his position of power to inappropriately touch and speak with them while alone together in his instructing car.
The document obtained by Black Press Media is an undertaking notice, which, similar to a promise to appear, outlines the conditions an accused must comply with as part of their release from custody. Issued on Friday (Oct. 1) by the Victoria Police Department, this notice mandates that Wallace must attend court on Nov. 25 and cannot communicate with or go near any of the women named in the allegations against him until then. It also bars him from providing driving instruction to female clients without a third party present.
Conditions agreed upon by ICBC and Wallace in September already prohibited him from going near any ICBC sites or premises where driving students may be present, and suspended his driving lessons.
On Monday, ICBC said in a statement that over the course of the past several weeks, it has “taken direct statements from individuals who have made allegations of unconscionable conduct, including sexual harassment, against Mr. Wallace.”
As a result of its investigation, ICBC has made the decision to permanently cancel Wallace’s driver instructor license, subject to a 30-day window for Wallace to appeal.
ICBC is continuing its investigation into Wallace Driving School and remains in contact with the Victoria Police Department regarding the status of that investigation.
Wallace founded Wallace Driving School with his wife in 1976 and has personally taught 25,000 students, according to the school website. Prior to moving to Victoria, he worked as a school teacher, councillor and mayor in Quesnel, B.C. He is also well-known in the region for his driving column with the Times Colonist, which has since been suspended.
Wallace has not responded to a request for an interview. Allegations against him have not been proven in court and he has not been formally charged.
The Victoria Police Department did not respond to requests for comment.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.