A 40-year-old Sikh priest and teacher has been charged with six counts of sexual offences involving children in Canada’s British Columbia province, a media report said citing prosecutors.
Bhupinder Singh Sonu, who made his first appearance at Surrey Provincial Court on Tuesday, has been charged with three counts each of sexual interference and sexual exploitation involving three different victims, the OMNI News channel reported.
Sonu, who worked as a tabla teacher and a priest at the Khalsa School of the Fraser Valley in Langley, had come to Canada on a work permit and acquired his permanent residency two weeks ago, according to defence lawyer Gagan Nahal.
Nahal added that Sonu is no longer employed by the school.
Court documents obtained by OMNI News said that the alleged offences took place between September 2022 and February 2023.
Sonu has been released under strict bail conditions, and his next appearance in court is on May 30.
Under Canada’s criminal code, the maximum punishment for the charges is 14 years of prison.
If convicted under a single charge, Sonu will face deportation, Nahal told OMNI News.
There was no immediate comment from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
This comes just after 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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