A Manitoba mayor has been charged in an alleged sexual assault on a young girl, in a case dating back 47 years.

Bernard Vermette, the mayor of Ste. Anne, is facing a charge of indecent assault linked to an alleged incident involving a nine-year-old girl in 1966.

RCMP said a 55-year-old woman contacted them in May 2012 and accused Vermette of assaulting her when she was a child.

After a lengthy investigation, officers arrested Vermette in July.

Vermette would have been around 27 years old in 1966.

RCMP Sgt. Ron Poirier says the case is unique, as the allegations stretch back almost five decades.

"Forty-six years after the fact isn't an investigation we receive here every day," he told CBC News.

"So just that type of situation, there's an extended length of time between the actual occurrence and [it] being reported to police."

Poirier said there was no known relationship between the accused and the victim at the time. 

Radio-Canada reporters contacted Vermette on Friday, and he said he is innocent. He is scheduled to appear in a Manitoba courtroom on Sept. 27.