Peter Dalglish. (Wikimedia Commons)

Canadian aid worker jailed 16 years in Nepal for sex assault of boys

Dalglish, an Order of Canada recipient, was convicted last month after a police investigation

A prominent Canadian aid worker convicted of sexually assaulting children in Nepal has been jailed for 16 years, one of his lawyers said on Monday.

In addition to the prison term, the court ordered Peter Dalglish to pay his victims the equivalent of US$5,000 each, Nader Hasan said.

“We continue to be dismayed by the trial judge’s refusal to consider the overwhelming evidence of Peter’s innocence and the inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case,” Hasan told The Canadian Press. “Peter’s family stands by him unflinchingly.”

Dalglish, an Order of Canada recipient, was convicted last month after a police investigation and trial his lawyers described as a travesty of justice. His defence said it planned to challenge the decision and stiffer-than-expected sentence, although the judge has yet to release reasons.

“We turn our attention to the appeal process in Nepal’s appellate courts,” Hassan said. “We remain confident that Peter will be exonerated.”

Originally from London, Ont., Dalglish, 62, has denied any wrongdoing.

Nepalese police arrested him in the early hours of April 8 last year in a raid on the mountain home he had built in the village of Kartike, east of the capital of Kathmandu. Police alleged he had raped two Nepalese boys aged 11 and 14, who were with him at the time.

Pushkar Karki, chief of the Central Investigation Bureau, accused Dalglish of luring children from poor families with promises of education, jobs and trips, then sexually abusing them. Karki said other foreign men in Nepal had also been arrested on suspicion of pedophilia.

“There have been some instances where they were found working with charities,” Karki told the New York Times. “Our laws aren’t as strict as in foreign countries, and there is no social scrutiny like in developed countries.”

Dalglish’s lawyers see it differently. They have raised a host of objections, saying the police investigation and trial was “like watching a wrongful conviction unfold in real time.” At the very least, they said, there was reasonable doubt as to their client’s guilt.

The 16-year sentence is “tremendously long” even by Nepal standards, Hasan said.

According to his lawyers, the case appears to have originated with rumours at a school in Thailand where Dalglish had been a board member. They insist a probe found no evidence of misconduct but a complaint to the RCMP appears to have led to an Interpol “red flag,” prompting Nepalese police to open their own investigation.

The defence accuses Nepalese investigators of intimidation tactics and bribing the boys to testify against him. Both complainants gave damning testimony in court but Dalglish’s lawyers say the alleged victims gave several versions of their stories at different times.

Hasan has said the Nepalese legal system operates largely in secrecy, and the courts do not record proceedings or produce transcripts, leading to confusion about what witnesses actually said.

Dalglish, who co-founded a Canadian charity called Street Kids International in the late 1980s, had spent years doing humanitarian work in Nepal. He has also worked for several humanitarian agencies, including UN Habitat in Afghanistan and the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response in Liberia. He was named a member of the Order of Canada in late 2016.

Dalglish’s family — his ex-wife and daughter live in the Netherlands and his brothers in Ontario — and friends have been standing by him, Hasan has said.

ALSO READ: B.C. woman loses bid to sue for negligence in residential school sex assault

ALSO READ: US Catholic bishops convene to confront sex-abuse crisis

Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Culture Days offers amazing variety Sept. 27 to 29

“Taste of Wetaskiwin” followed by “Connect 4”

Join Leduc singer/songwriter Julia Vos raising funds for youth shelter Fri to Sun

Mulhurst Bay’s singer/songwriter busking in Edmonton for Youth Emergency Shelter

Pipestone Creek Grouse Walk a success Aug. 24

Event hosts over 40 participants near Wetaskiwin

Beef barley soup with great cake idea for dessert

Zucchini Carrot Cake only takes about 40 mins in oven

Wetaskiwin Bantam Warriors get payback against Fort Mac

Wetaskiwin earns decisive 43 to 12 victory in week 2 action

Red Deer Rebels fall to Edmonton in home opener 4-2

Red Deer will play the second of a home and home on Sunday

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Expert says acquittal of Alberta parents in boy’s death unlikely to set precedent

The Stephans testified they thought their son had croup and used herbal remedies to treat him

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Singh campaigns in Toronto, May in Winnipeg, as Liberal and Tory leaders pause

All parties expected to be back on the campaign trail Sunday

Possible Canadian cases of vaping illnesses being investigated: health officer

‘I think that will be really important to address the overall trend of youth vaping’

Most Read