Calgary Herald

Church youth leader faces sex assault charges JORDAN STRICKER


A Calgary church youth leader who frequently works alone with children has been charged in connection with sexual assaults that occurred around 10 years ago.

In August, an adult came forward to police to report multiple instances of sexual assault between 2011 and 2013 when the person was a child.

It's believed the assaults took place at the El Renacer church, where the victim was a member, as well as at a residence in the Panorama Hills community.

A police news release said that in each instance, investigat­ors believe the victim, who was approximat­ely seven years old, was forced into unwanted sexual acts by the accused.

The release added the accused can't be named under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act as the victim was a youth at the time of the offences.

Police said he has been charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of invitation to sexual touching with a child under 16 years old.

“It takes immense courage for victims of sexual assault to come forward to police, especially under these circumstan­ces,” Det. Tim Fitzgibbon, of the Calgary Police Service sexual assault investigat­ions unit, said in the news release. “I want to thank the victim for speaking out.”

In Canada, there is no time limit on reporting a sexual assault. Anyone who believes they are a victim is encouraged to report, even if many years have passed since the incident.

Anyone with informatio­n about this incident or similar ones is asked to contact police by calling 403-266-1234.

Tips can also be submitted anonymousl­y through Crime Stoppers.

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