US & Canada

Canada pastor and wife face 25 sex assault charges

Samuel Emerson, left, and his wife Madelaine Emerson are facing more than two dozen sex offence charges. Image copyright Surrey RCMP
Image caption Samuel Emerson, left, and his wife Madelaine Emerson are facing more than two dozen sex offence charges.

A Canadian evangelical pastor and his wife are facing more than two dozen charges related to sex offences.

British Columbia RCMP charged Samuel Emerson, 34, with 25 sex offence charges on Tuesday, including 13 charges of sexual assault.

His wife, Madelaine Emerson, 37, is facing two sexual offence charges and one charge of uttering threats.

The alleged assaults took place between 2014-17 but police believe there could be more victims.

"Calling the police to report a sexual assault is a very difficult thing to do especially when the suspect is someone you knew and trusted, and can leave lifelong emotional scars," said police Cpl Scotty Schumann in a press release.

"Our highly skilled investigators take sexual assaults very seriously, and, supported by our Surrey RCMP Victim Services workers, are here to listen and provide emotional support."

The pastor preached at Cloverdale Christian Fellowship Church, a non-denominational church in Surrey, British Columbia.

He is charged with 13 counts of sexual assault, 11 counts of being in a position of authority and touching for a sexual purpose and one count of sexual touching of someone under the age of 16.

His wife is charged with one count of sex assault, one count of being in a position of authority and touching for a sexual purpose and one count of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm.

The church was not immediately available for comment.

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