An 85-year-old retired school teacher has been charged in connection to a sexual assault investigation dating back 50 years, and police fear there could be more potential victims.

Toronto police allege the suspect befriended a seven-year-old boy and sexually abused the victim for several years.

Alec Owen, 85, of Toronto, has been charged with two counts of indecent assault on a male.

Det. Const. Michelle Bond, of the Toronto police sex crimes unit, said they were contacted by police in England who had arrested a local man for sexually abusing a young boy.

During their investigation British police came across online correspondence between their suspect and Owen.

"Comments by Alec Owen online raised great concern from the investigators and the comments were forwarded to the Toronto Police Service Child Exploitation Unit," Bond told a press conference on Tuesday.

Toronto police launched an investigation and in November 2011 they charged Owen with two counts of child pornography.

Police said that following the arrest, two victims came forward and said they were abused over a number of years, one of them beginning at the age of seven.

Bond said those sexual assaults occurred between 1962 and 1967.

Owen is a retired elementary school teacher who was employed by the Scarborough Board of Education between the years of 1959 and 1981.

Police say they believe Owen tutored a number of students on a part-time basis from his home.

Police say they believe there may be more potential victims and are asking anyone with information to come forward.

On Tuesday, police released images of the suspect taken over the past three decades.

The images show a bald man usually wearing dark-rimmed glasses. In 1979, he had grown a long, dark goatee. By 1998, he was almost entirely without hair.

Owen worked at the following schools:

  • Guildwood Junior Public School
  • George B. Little Public School
  • Blantyre Public School
  • Terraview Heights Public School
  • Tecumseh Senior Public School
  • Willow Park Junior Public School
  • Inglewood Heights Junior Public School
  • Birch Cliff Public School

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-8500 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).