Man pleads guilty to child abduction in west Edmonton skate park

A 54-year old man has pleaded guilty to the abduction of a young boy two years ago in a west Edmonton skate park.

Curtis Poburan, 54, pleaded guilty to five charges including abduction of a child under 14

A mug shot of a man.
Curtis Poburan, 54, pleaded guilty to the abduction of a young boy two years ago in a west Edmonton skate park. (Submitted by Edmonton Police Service)

A  54-year old man has pleaded guilty to the abduction of a young boy two years ago in a west Edmonton skate park.

Wearing shackles and an orange prison suit, Curtis Poburan pleaded guilty to a total of five charges as his victim's mother watched from the gallery.

Poburan admitted to abducting the boy who was 10 at the time. He also pleaded guilty to using an imitation handgun and breaching three probation orders stemming from a previous criminal harassment conviction.

He was sentenced and released on probation in December 2020 after serving 178 days in pre-sentence custody.

Poburan was not allowed to engage with minors, visit parks or carry firearms as per the conditions of his probation order,

According to an agreed statement of facts, Poburan befriended the boy at the Callingwood Skate Park in January 2021 and invited him to go shooting after showing the boy an airsoft gun.

 At a nearby baseball diamond "Poburan loaded the guns and allowed [the boy] to shoot the airsoft guns," the court document says.

The boy declined when Poburan offered a drag of his cigar but expressed interest in a vape. A few days later, Poburan and the boy walked from the skate park to a nearby smoke shop.

"Poburan went into the shop while [the boy] waited outside," the court document says. "After making his purchase, Poburan then immediately gave [the boy] a grape flavored vape."

On January 12, two witnesses overheard parts of a conversation where Poburan again offered to buy the boy a vape pen.

Concerned about the boy's wellbeing, the witnesses followed them and called police. The boy was found physically unharmed outside the smoke shop.

Nine minutes after receiving the call, police arrested Poburan. A search found two airsoft guns, numerous CO2 cartridges, pellets and cell phones.

A detective interviewed Poburan that evening and "Poburan indicated that he found it arousing and exciting to violate or rebel against" the restrictions of his release, the agreed statement of facts says.

It goes on to say that while Poburan "acknowledged his sexual attraction" to the boy, he claimed he did not intend to engage him in sexual activity. 

But Poburan did "outline a scenario whereby he could foresee having sex with [the boy]" and renting a motel room to engage in sexual activity, the court document says.

Shortage of forensic experts

Poburan's criminal record includes another abduction of a child in 2016. He was sentenced to three years in prison for for sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching in 1998.

Poburan is scheduled to appear via CCTV on January 10 where a forensic psychiatric assessment is expected to be ordered.

Crown prosecutor Mark Huyser-Wierenga said he could not make the request on Friday because no one was available from a pool of up to 30 forensic psychiatrists and psychologists drawn on from Alberta Health Services.

Huyser-Wierenga is seeking the assessment in advance of a dangerous offender application.

Poburan's defence lawyer Alexandra Seaman expressed concern about the delay in proceedings, noting her client has been in remand since his arrest, where he will continue to be held during the assessment.

"Given the nature of the offences … it has not been an easy time in the remand centre," she said.