BNN [Winnipeg, Canada]
June 6, 2023
By Sakchi Khandelwal
Priest released from custody on agreed conditions after allegations of sexual assault on Manitoba First Nation
Arul Savari, a Roman Catholic priest facing accusations of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl in a church on a remote Manitoba First Nation, has been released from custody. The 48-year-old appeared via video in a Winnipeg court before a judicial justice of the peace on Monday, where the Crown and his defense lawyer agreed upon a set of conditions for his release.
During the court proceedings, when asked if he agreed with the conditions, Savari responded with “OK.” He is facing five charges, including sexual assault, sexual interference, and forcible confinement.
Savari had been in custody since May 27, following a complaint made by the mother of the 8-year-old girl to the Little Grand Rapids RCMP. According to the RCMP, the girl was alone with the priest when he allegedly touched her inappropriately. The incident occurred after the priest had asked her to help him clean the church. When she attempted to leave, the priest reportedly prevented her from doing so. The girl eventually managed to escape and ran home to inform her mother, who promptly reported the incident to the police.
While investigating the case, the RCMP stated that there are other potential victims among the youth, but no additional charges have been filed as of yet.
Savari arrived in Canada six years ago to work as a priest in Little Grand Rapids and Pauingassi First Nation. The specific conditions of his release were not disclosed in the report.
Allegations of Sexual Assault on a First Nation Church
The release of the accused priest has drawn attention to the allegations of sexual assault against an 8-year-old girl in a remote Manitoba First Nation church. The case highlights the vulnerability of young individuals and the need for comprehensive measures to protect them from abuse and ensure justice is served.
Seeking Justice and Support for Victims
As the legal proceedings continue, it is crucial to prioritize the well-being of the alleged victim and provide necessary support to survivors of sexual assault. Efforts must be made to ensure a fair and thorough investigation, holding the accused accountable for their actions and sending a message of support to all victims of such heinous crimes.