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Calgary church youth leader charged with sex offences

Calgary police have charged a former teen church leader, now an adult, with sex-related charges stemming from incidents that happened a decade ago.

According to police, a child victim, also now an adult, came forward to police about multiple sexual assaults that allegedly happened between 2011 and 2013. Police said the incidents are alleged to have happened at the El Renacer Church, and a residence in Panorama Hills.

Police said that investigators believe the victim, who was seven at the time of the alleged offences, was forced into unwanted sexual acts.

Since the suspect was a teen at the time, they cannot be named due to the Youth Criminal Justice Act, police said. He was charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of invitation to sexual touching with a child under 16 years old, according to Calgary police. Police said he’s now an adult frequently working with children alone.

“It takes immense courage for victims of sexual assault to come forward to police, especially under these circumstances,” said Det. Tim Fitzgibbon of the Calgary Police Service Sexual Assault Investigations Unit, in a prepared media release.

“I want to thank the victim for speaking out.”

Calgary police said that in Canada there’s no time limit on reporting sexual assault, even if years have passed since it happened.

Anyone with information on this incident, or similar incidents, is asked to contact police at 403-266-1234.