Canadian man arrested over alleged sexual assault of children at church

Police say the 33-year-old suspect allegedly touched several girls inappropriately while visiting a church in Canada Police in Toronto have arrested a man over allegations he sexually assaulted multiple female children at a North…

Canadian man arrested over alleged sexual assault of children at church

Police say the 33-year-old suspect allegedly touched several girls inappropriately while visiting a church in Canada

Police in Toronto have arrested a man over allegations he sexually assaulted multiple female children at a North York church over a four-year period.

Police said on Friday the 33-year-old suspect was charged with five counts of sexual assault, one count of sexual interference and two counts of invitation to sexual touching.

Between May 2013 and May 2016, the suspect, who can’t be named, was accused of inappropriately touching several girls who attended a private children’s ministry at St John’s United Church. The suspect is accused of “kissing, fondling and touching the girls during bible lessons,” Peel police said.

“I would also like to thank the numerous members of the community who have contacted our investigators with their knowledge and information,” said Peel regional police Det Dave Reardon.

Tracee Norris, director of Covenant House Ontario, said her organization learned of the abuse allegations and began to work with Peel police to support the victims.

“We can confirm that within the past several weeks, one of our clients was sexually assaulted at the church,” she said. “The victim was relocated to a safe place.”

Norris said Covenant House was working with other organizations, including St John’s United Church, to ensure the safety of victims, their families and staff.

“We also stand with each and every one of the victim’s, not only to stand with them but to work closely with them in the healing process,” she said.

Reardon said detectives were not investigating any other sex abuse allegations at the church.

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