Toronto police arrest man in church sexual assault case

A 44-year-old Toronto man has been arrested on 22 counts of sexual assault and a further 17 counts of sexual interference dating back to 2013 at Holy Apostles Catholic church in North York. A…

Toronto police arrest man in church sexual assault case

A 44-year-old Toronto man has been arrested on 22 counts of sexual assault and a further 17 counts of sexual interference dating back to 2013 at Holy Apostles Catholic church in North York.

A 54-year-old woman who was allegedly groped in the church in 2012 told the police her relationship with the church began to end in May of this year. That woman has since become a witness in the investigation.

When police began their investigation on 8 May, they noted a correlation between all the alleged incidents. Investigators believe there are more victims, who did not report it to the police.

Det Leslie Dore was unable to say what may have initially attracted the woman to the church, although he suggested it was the church’s location, as it is just minutes from a busy shopping mall. “Our evidence in this case suggests it was not a sexual attraction,” he said.

Over the years, the church is located at a number of different buildings in the neighbourhood. On 2 May, police shut down one of the buildings in the church complex, which is about 100 metres from the women’s restroom. A church official said there were no plans to rebuild or reconfigure the buildings.

“Our sanctuary is closed at the moment, but we are committed to working with the police and the church community to ensure that we are doing our part to solve this case and to find our victims. At the same time, we remain focused on our mission, and our priority is to care for the welfare of the parishioners and to provide a supportive and welcoming environment for the children and adults,” the Holy Apostles Catholic church said in a statement.

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