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Former Calgary church youth leader charged with 2011-13 sex assaults

Police vehicles at Calgary Police Service headquarters on April 9, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh) Police vehicles at Calgary Police Service headquarters on April 9, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

A former Calgary church youth leader has been charged in connection with a series of sexual assaults against a seven-year-old.

Police said Wednesday the assaults happened between 2011 and 2013, when the accused was a teenager, at the El Renacer church and a home in Panorama Hills.

The accused faces charges of sexual assault and invitation to sexual touching with a minor.

The accused, now an adult, still frequently worked alone with children at church at the time he was charged.

Because the accused was also a minor when the alleged assaults happened, he cannot be identified.

In a release issued Wednesday, police commended the victim for coming forward.

"It takes immense courage for victims of sexual assault to come forward to police, especially under these circumstances," said Det. Tim Fitzgibbon with the sexual assault investigations unit.

The church posted to Facebook to address the situation:

"The leadership of Iglesia El Renacer and its pastor Jose Efrain Guzman, have been impacted by the news posted on Facebook today, Wednesday, November 15, 2023, about the events that occurred, involving the name of our church," the post read.

"Such events are completely unknown to the official body, who are fully prepared to cooperate with the authorities and resolve the case of impunity before the law.

"We want to clarify, according to the police report, that the family residing in Panorama Hills NW, have left the congregation since 2014.

"The Renacer Church is present to assist authorities with investigation." Top Stories

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