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

B.C. First Nation Chief Ed John faces historic sex charges

John served as minister for children and families under then-premier Ujjah Dosanjh

‘Pets R Family 2’ welcomes pet grooming to their Barriere store

By Elli Kohnert Barriere’s pet supply store has a new service in-house.… Continue reading

RCMP extending Barriere Block Watch to detachment coverage area

Block Watch meetings are held the fourth Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Barriere Ridge

Farewell to the Clearwater-Vavenby Lions Club

Submitted The Clearwater-Vavenby Lions Club was a local group of service-minded men… Continue reading

Simpcw First Nation’s business arm brings national recognition

By Sam Laskaris Cando Contributor The Simpcw First Nation is proof that… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

Seguin lifts surging Stars to 4-2 win over Canucks

Dallas is 6-0-1 in last seven outings

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

Tolko shuts B.C. divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

Port Moody mayor says stayed sex assault charge related to ‘awkward date’

Rob Vagramov said charge was related to a string of dates in 2015

UBC conference draws fire over speaker from Chinese tech company blacklisted in U.S.

The company that has been blacklisted by the U.S. over links to the repression of China’s Muslim minority

‘It’s been 12 years’: Father of murdered B.C. real estate agent pleads for mayor’s help

Lindsay Buziak was stabbed to death on Feb. 2, 2008 in Saanich. Her case is unsolved.

Most Read