The multi-ethnic 13-year-old from the northeast Indian state of Punjab was invited to participate in a scout camp at Maple Grove Junior High School, northeast of Toronto, during a field trip. After a day of activities, she and her 14-year-old friend visited with another group of members of the Scouts of Canada program at the school.
School officials quickly reported the incident to police after the alleged victim told them she was sexually assaulted by an Indian man that she had met during the field trip. She later revealed that the man had also made sexual advances towards her friend that evening.
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According to the Toronto Star, some of the senior board members of the scouting program visited with the victim last Sunday. The victim also spoke to her class about the allegations and recalled an excerpt of her account of the event.
“The next thing I know, my classmate from the upper school said, ‘Can you believe it?’ I started freaking out. She said, ‘He touched me’ and then I said, ‘No he didn’t.’ But then my friend said, ‘He put his hand in my pants and rubbed his fingers up my ass.’ She said that the man didn’t touch her on any part of her body, but that he touched her breasts while she was sitting.”
A number of complaints that scouts involved in other events were not appropriately identified. The Maple Grove Scouts’ website alleges that “the unique cultural background and language proficiency of their member(s) can make support and care a challenge,” according to CBC News.
The accused man faces charges of sexual assault and sexual interference, and could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
According to CBC News, the father of the victim’s accused attacker also attended a religious camp run by the scout organization, but was not involved in scouting activities.