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Sikh temple staffer arrested in Canada for alleged sexual assault on teen

IANS | May 14, 2023 07:40 PM

TORONTO: A 58-year-old staffer at a Sikh temple in Canada's British Columbia province has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a 15 year-old girl, the police said.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said they are investigating the incident, which took place earlier this month at or in the area of the Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran in Newton.

The suspect was arrested a day after the incident, and has been released on the condition that he have no contact with the victim and not be in the presence of anyone under 16 without another adult.

No charges have been laid on the temple staffer as yet, and the suspect's employer has been informed of the allegations, the police said.The Gurdawara maager has denied that suspect is staffer of temple, Suspect is a volunteer. He has arrived to Canada on tourist visa and staying with his daughter, a student,

"Our Special Victims Unit are leading this investigation, with support for the youth victim from Surrey Women's Centre, " Corporal Sarbjit Sangha said in a news release.

"We urge anyone with information to come forward, as investigators continue to work to gather evidence and advance the investigation, " Sangha said.

Under Canada's criminal code, the maximum punishment for sexual assault charges is 14 years of prison.

The incident follows two more cases of sexual assault on minors reported in the month of May alone by men of Indian-origin.

A 40-year-old Sikh priest and teacher Bhupinder Singh Sonu was charged this month with six counts of sexual offences involving children in British Columbia province.

Before Sonu, a 62-year-old Indo-Canadian homeopathic doctor Sunil Anand was charged with sexual assault and sexual interference of a young patient in Brampton, following an investigation by the Peel Regional Police Special Victims Unit.

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