Manitoba priest charged with sexual assault on 8-year-old girl, police look for more potential victims

A Catholic priest is in police custody facing serious sexual assault charges after an investigation into an incident involving an eight-year-old girl at Little Grand Rapids First Nation.

RCMP Supt. Scott McMurchy said police believe the child was alone with the priest, 48-year-old Arul Savari, who asked her to help clean the church when the incident took place.

Savari is accused of touching her inappropriately and preventing her from leaving the building.

The victim was able to escape to safety and inform family members. McMurchy said Savari was arrested shortly after the incident and is in custody in Winnipeg.

Savari has been charged with sexual assault, sexual interference, sexual exploitation of a young person, luring a child, and forcible confinement.

McMurchy said community leaders and Manitoba First Nations officials are aware of the investigation and have been working with police.

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RCMP have identified other young people who are considered potential victims and believe there could be more out there. In addition to Little Grand Rapids, Savari has also attended Pauingassi First Nation in his role as a priest.

Anyone with information is asked to call Little Grand Rapids RCMP at 204-397-2249.

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