Saskatoon police cost member of religion group with sexual exploitation

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

In a statement, the police said that the victim and the accused know each other because they belong to a religious organization.

The man, Ardeshir Zehtab-Jadid, is a member of the Saskatoon Bahai community.

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Historical investigations into sexual assault by the Saskatoon police have resulted in 2 charges

A police statement set out the charges, while a Baha’i community spokesman confirmed that Zehtab-Jadid is a member of the Saskatoon branch of the group.

Saskatoon Bahai Community of Canada Public Affairs Director Geoff Cameron said in a telephone interview that the community, a national body, is aware of the charges against Zehtab-Jadid but has no comment on the actual charges. He told Global News that Zehtab-Jadid volunteered to host youth groups. In an email, Cameron said that Zehtab-Jadid’s “volunteer service ended in February 2016” and that his rights to join the group had also been suspended prior to his arrest.

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Zehtab-Jadid’s lawyer did not comment.

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

Zehtab-Jadid appeared in court on November 17, and again on November 19, by phone from the Saskatchewan Provincial Correctional Center.

Sexual abuse and exploitation, the SPS statement says, occurs when a child has been or is likely to be exposed to harmful interaction for sexual purposes by a parent, caregiver, or person in a position of trust or authority towards the adolescent .

The court released Zehtab-Jadid, subject to conditions. His next gig is planned for December.

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