British Columbia

Port Coquitlam imam convicted of sexual assault sentenced to three and a half years in jail

Saadeldin Bahr, who also uses the name Dr. Saad, was the spiritual director at the Masjid Al-Hidayah and Islamic Cultural Centre.

Saadeldin Bahr prohibited from owning firearms for 10 years, placed on Sex Offender Registry for 20 years

The Masjid Al-Hidayah and Islamic Cultural Centre is in Port Coquitlam, B.C. (CBC)

The imam of a Port Coquitlam mosque convicted of sexual assault has been sentenced to three years and six months in jail. 

Saadeldin Bahr, who also uses the name Dr. Saad, was the spiritual director at the Masjid Al-Hidayah and Islamic Cultural Centre.

In September 2013, Bahr was charged with one count of sexual assault against a female attendee at the mosque. Her identity is protected by a publication ban.

In court documents, the victim said she sought spiritual advice from Bahr in June 2013.

With her family waiting downstairs, she alleged Bahr led her into a storage room on the second floor of the mosque, where he first groped her and then sexually assaulted her  — telling her it was part of his "treatment."

She said he told her not to tell her family about the incident.

Her family said Bahr told them not to believe anything she said as she was "delusional" and "under a bad curse."

Nevertheless, the victim said she did tell one family member and, later that evening, she said she sought a nurse who completed a detailed examination.

Bahr's defence was the victim's testimony lacked credibility.

In his October 2016 judgment, Justice Robert Crawford said he had "great difficulties with Bahr's evidence." 

Crawford said Barh's position of power and authority over the victim — as well as his attempts to shut down any communication between the victim and her family — led Crawford to find Bahr guilty of sexual contact without consent.

On Friday, Bahr was sentenced to three years and six months in prison. He was also prohibited from owning firearms for ten years and will be placed on the Sex Offender Registry for 20 years.

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