Abbotsford Hindu temple priest guilty of sex crimes on teen girls in his congregation

Published: May 3, 2013
Abbotsford

The Hindu temple in Abbotsford is shown in this Nov. 17, 2010 file photo. A priest who was fired from the temple has been found guilty of sexually interfering with two teens in the congregration. Wayne Leidenfrost/PNG files

 

ELAINE O’CONNOR
VANCOUVER DESI

A priest at an Abbotsford Hindu temple has been found guilty of three counts of sexually interfering with two young women in his congregation.

Karam Vir, 33, was charged in November 2010 with two counts of touching a young person for a sexual purpose and one count of sexual assault.

Justice Neill Brown delivered his verdict in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster Friday, and ordered Vir remanded to custody until his sentencing in August.

In reviewing the evidence, Brown painted a picture of long-term friendships that had developed between Vir and the two teenagers over months.

These relationships of trust were breached when Vir made sexual advances, sexually exploiting the girls, then 17.

The girls’ identities are protected by a publication ban.

“I believe their testimony in the way that Mr. Vir exploited their trust,” Brown said. “I find credible the complainants’ evidence that Mr. Vir sexually touched them . . . I find both complainants were fearful.”

In both cases, the court heard that Vir approached the girls at the temple while they were dealing with struggles with boyfriends.

Vir befriended them, offering advice, and built separate friendships with the girls. In both cases, this involved private visits to his living quarters, outings, and long phone calls — hundreds over a few months, some lasting hours.

The first complainant alleged Vir three times forced kisses on her and forced brief sexual intercourse and/or touching on her three times before she pushed him away, crying and asking him to stop.

In the other case, Vir gave the girl a ring to “protect her.” During their friendship she repeatedly asked Vir to stop talking about wanting to get physically involved with her and resisted his advances, once when he hugged her and tried to touch her chest and again when he pushed her on to a bed after giving her the ring.

The investigation began when members of the Walmsley Avenue Hindu temple approached police with an anonymous letter accusing Vir of sexual interference with a teenage girl in March 2010.

The letter had also been circulated to about 10 businesses in the community.

That same day, one of the girls attended the police station and made a similar statement. She alleged that Vir had kissed her, had touched her inappropriately, and also offered her alcohol.

During the Abbotsford Police Department major crime unit investigation another alleged victim was identified.

The trial of the Indian national began in Chilliwack in February, but was transferred to New Westminster in March.

The young women testified via closed-circuit television, expressing to the court that appearing in public with their stories would bring shame on their families.

A woman who testified in Vir’s defence stated that he had done an excellent job of getting the temple back in good physical and financial shape since he joined in 2008, but that his leadership rankled some of the temple membership. He was fired shortly after charges were laid.

Vir’s sentencing hearing will take place in Chilliwack at 10 a.m. on Aug. 14.

eoconnor@theprovince.com
twitter.com/elainereporting

Tags: , ,





Featured

asdlkfjdal

‘I don’t get turned down by girls:’ Calgary man jailed after stalking university classmate

DARYL SLADE CALGARY HERALD A man who became infatuated with a woman in his university class last year then repeatedly stalked her has been jailed….
Continue Reading »

U.S. Republican lawmaker Curt Clawson. Submitted photo/Twitter.

Republican lawmaker apologizes for mistaking U.S. officials as Indian at congressional hearing

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON — A freshman Republican lawmaker has apologized for mistaking two senior U.S. government officials as Indian when they testified at a…
Continue Reading »

File photo: A Sierra Leone kabaddi player (R) is tackled by his British opponent during the 4th World Cup Kabaddi Punjab 2013 tournament at a stadium in Chohla Sahib (Tarn Taran), about 55 kms from Amritsar on December 2, 2013. NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images

India’s Pro Kabaddi League signs Canadian TV deal

PATRICK JOHNSTON VANCOUVER DESI Canada’s largest South Asian broadcaster, Asian Television Network (ATN), has signed on with India’s Pro-Kabaddi League. The eight-team league launched on…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

asdlkfjdal

‘I don’t get turned down by girls:’ Calgary man jailed after stalking university classmate

DARYL SLADE CALGARY HERALD A man who became infatuated with a woman in his university class last year then repeatedly stalked her has been jailed….
Continue Reading »

File photo: A Sierra Leone kabaddi player (R) is tackled by his British opponent during the 4th World Cup Kabaddi Punjab 2013 tournament at a stadium in Chohla Sahib (Tarn Taran), about 55 kms from Amritsar on December 2, 2013. NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images

India’s Pro Kabaddi League signs Canadian TV deal

PATRICK JOHNSTON VANCOUVER DESI Canada’s largest South Asian broadcaster, Asian Television Network (ATN), has signed on with India’s Pro-Kabaddi League. The eight-team league launched on…
Continue Reading »

Today in History – Aug. 7

Advance THE CANADIAN PRESS Today in History for Aug. 7: On this date: In AD 117, Roman emperor Marcus Trajan died at age 65. His…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

india flag2

Sporting fans disappointed as Indian flag depicted upside down in Commonwealth Games promotional video

VANCOUVER DESI India is already making headlines as the Commonwealth Games officially kick off in Glasgow – but not for sporting-related reasons. In an official…
Continue Reading »

INDIA_RAPE_PROTEST_217126232

Angry villagers mob alleged suspects after another girl found hanging from tree in India

KOUSHIK DUTTA HINDUSTAN TIMES A 7-year-old girl was found raped, murdered and hanging from a tree in West Bengal on Thursday, resurfacing horrific memories from…
Continue Reading »

525020624_213567324

Indian baby whose head swelled to three times its size smiling and laughing a year later (w/ photos)

VANCOUVER DESI A three-year-old girl in New Delhi who was given little chance of survival after her head swelled to three times its normal size…
Continue Reading »

An Indian private tutor was caught on CCTV camera brutally beating a child. YouTube screenshot

Private tutor who mercilessly beat child finally arrested in Kolkata

IANS Kolkata  – Private tutor Pooja Singh, who was caught on video brutally thrashing a three-and-a-half-year-old child in Kolkata, was finally arrested Friday, police said….
Continue Reading »

child abuse

Indian kidnappers agree to handover boy to parents on condition of swapping him for his sister

CEN AGENCY In a bizarre demand, parents of an Indian boy who has been kidnapped, were told that they could have youngster back if they…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Indian Bollywood Hindi film director Mahesh Bhatt reads during the launch of the book 'Aaliya' in Mumbai on December 5, 2013. STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Miffed over fake Facebook account, Mahesh Bhatt heads to police

IANS Mumbai — Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt has warned his fans against a fake Facebook account created under his name and says that he will approach…
Continue Reading »

1KUMAR

Akshay Kumar performance to kick off kabaddi league in London

IANS New Delhi  – Bollywood action star Akshay Kumar will perform on the inaugural day of the Wave World Kabaddi League (WWKL), starting Aug 9…
Continue Reading »

Indian Bollywood actors Jacqueline Fernandez (L) and Salman Khan pose for a photograph during a promotional event for the forthcoming Hindi film Kick, produced and directed by Sajid Nadiadwala, in Mumbai on late June 15, 2014. STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Salman Khan’s Eid luck works in favour of Kick release

IANS Mumbai — If you go by the box office collection of Salman Khan’s Kick, you’d agree that the superstar – whose Eid releases like…
Continue Reading »