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Port Coquitlam imam charged with sexual assault
An imam at the Masjid Al-Hidayah and Islamic Cultural Centre in Port Coquitlam has been charged with sexual assault stemming from an alleged incident in June.
Charges against Saadeldin Bahr, commonly known in the community as Dr. Saad, were approved on Wednesday and he is expected to make his first appearance in PoCo provincial court on Sept. 23.
In a press release, the Coquitlam RCMP said police continue to investigate and are interested in hearing from anyone who may have information that could advance the case.
"As there is a possibility of additional victims, investigators are encouraging anyone with information about other incidents to come forward," the police said in a statement. "All tips and information will be followed up."
Because of a publication ban to protect the identity of the alleged victim, Mounties said they were unable to provide further information.
Anyone with any information about the allegations against Bahr are asked to call the the Coquitlam RCMP Sex Crimes Unit at 604-552-4335 and quote file number 2013-16651. The Victim Services Unit is also available to provide victim support and guidance and can be reached at 604-945-1585.
Bahr has been a prominent member of the Muslim community. He is president of the Islamic Society of BC and has served as the Masjid Al-Hidaya and Islamic Cultural Centre's imam for a number of years.
The mosque has operated in the area since 1994, initially out of rented spaces, including a room above a tire shop, before moving to its current location on Kingsway Avenue in 2003.
Every year, the mosque holds an open house, inviting community members to learn more about the Islamic faith, learning about the food and culture surrounding the religion.