A well-known Victoria driving instructor accused of sexual assault will not be facing any criminal charges.
Steve Wallace, the owner of Wallace Driving School, had been under police investigation after accusations of inappropriate behaviour were levelled against him.
On Wednesday, the British Columbia Prosecution Service confirmed with CHEK News that Wallace will not be facing any charges as Crown Counsel believes the accusations do not meet the threshold for any charges to be laid.
“After a full review of the investigative material provided by the investigative agency the Crown Counsel assigned to assess the charges concluded that the charge assessment standard had not been met for any criminal offence and no charges will proceed,” the prosecution service said in its statement. “In this case the prosecutor concluded the test was not met and no charges have been approved.”
ICBC said Wallace had previously agreed not to conduct further lessons pending the outcome of the allegations.
A number of women came forward this summer accusing Wallace of inappropriate behaviour. Aiko Oye, who recounted her alleged experience on Instagram, told CHEK News that Wallace placed his hand on hers while she was driving when she believed it wasn’t necessary.
“He looked into my eyes and was like ‘wow, you have movie star eyes,'” Oye said in a September interview, adding. “He said I love you about 15 times to me.”
Wallace told CHEK News in a statement earlier this year that he was “truly sorry” for anything he did that may have caused anyone to feel uncomfortable and vowed to improve.
“I am truly sorry I did anything that caused anyone to feel uncomfortable. Learning to drive is a process where confidence is gained in a short period of time. I am in a position of trust, and I am aghast to learn my actions and words are seen as a breach of that trust. I focus on positive reinforcement so new drivers learn necessary, life-saving skills. These interactions include vehicle control interventions for safety. Moving forward, I will be clear emergency vehicle control may require physical contact.”
The allegations against Wallace — unproven in the court of law — led ICBC to permanently revoke his teaching licence. It also lead to DriveWise BC, a driving school that operates on Vancouver Island, to install video cameras inside all of its vehicles.
With files from Kevin Charach and Kori Sidaway