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Saskatoon police charge member of faith group with sexual exploitation

Click to play video: 'Saskatoon police charge member of faith group with sexual exploitation' Saskatoon police charge member of faith group with sexual exploitation
WATCH: Saskatoon police charged 35-year-old Ardeshir Zehtab-Jadid with two counts of sexual exploitation while in a position of authority. – Nov 19, 2021

Saskatoon police have arrested and charged a 35-year-old man with two counts sexual exploitation while in a position of trust or authority.

In a statement, police said the victim and accused knew each other through their affiliation with a faith-based organization.

The man, Ardeshir Zehtab-Jadid, is a member of the Saskatoon Baha’i community.

Read more: Historical sexual assault investigation by Saskatoon police results in 2 charges

A police statement outlined the charges while a spokesperson for the Baha’i Community of Canada confirmed Zehtab-Jadid is a member of the Saskatoon branch of the group.

Saskatoon Baha’i Community of Canada public affairs director Geoff Cameron, in a phone interview, said the Community, a national body, is aware of the charges against Zehtab-Jadid but had no comment on the actual charges. He did tell Global News Zehtab-Jadid volunteered as a youth group facilitator. In an email, Cameron said Zehtab-Jadid’s “volunteer service terminated in February 2016” and that his rights of membership in the group had also been suspended prior to his arrest.

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Zehtab-Jadid’s lawyer did not comment.

The police statement says they received a report of historic sexual assault in December 2019 and that one of the complaints involved a woman who was 16 years old at the time of the assault.

Zehtab-Jadid appeared in court on Nov. 17 and again on Nov. 19, via phone from Saskatchewan Provincial Correctional Centre.

Sexual abuse and exploitation, the SPS statement said, occurs when a child has been or is likely to be exposed to a harmful interaction for a sexual purpose by a parent, caretaker or any person in a position of trust or authority over the young person.

The court released Zehtab-Jadid with conditions. His next appearance is scheduled for December.

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