Order of Canada recipient charged in Nepal with sexually abusing children

A prominent Canadian aid worker, Peter Dalglish, was arrested at his mountain villa in Nepal Monday and charged with sexually abusing children, a local official said.

Peter Dalglish, a lawyer and aid worker from London, Ont., faces up to 13 years in jail

Peter Dalglish, who has been lauded for his charity work, is now charged with sex offences against children in Nepal. He is a recipient of the Order of Canada. (YouTube)

A prominent Canadian aid worker was arrested at his mountain villa in Nepal on Monday and charged with sexually abusing children, a local official said.

Central Investigation Bureau Chief Pushkar Karki said Peter Dalglish was arrested in April at his home with two Nepalese boys aged 12 and 14 after weeks of investigation. His case is being heard by a court in Kavre, a town near Kathmandu.

Karki said Dalglish has now been charged with raping the two boys and faces up to 13 years in prison if convicted.

Dalglish has denied the charges.

Long history of humanitarian work

Dalglish, 60, was born in London, Ont.. He attended law school at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Dalglish helped found the charity Street Kids International and has worked for decades for a number of humanitarian agencies, including UN Habitat in Afghanistan and the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response in Liberia. He has focused much of the time on working children and street children.

Officials said he helped families who lost their homes during a devastating earthquake in Nepal in 2015 that killed 9,000 people and damaged nearly a million houses.

In 2016, Dalglish was named a Member of the Order of Canada for his humanitarian work.

Allegations connected to aid work

Karki said Dalglish lured children from poor families with promises of education, jobs and trips, and then sexually abused them.

Investigators followed Dalglish for weeks after they received information about alleged abuses, Karki said.

He said officials plan to expand their investigation because they have found evidence linked to cases of child abuse dating back a dozen years. He would not elaborate.

Nepal lacks clear laws on crimes related to pedophilia. A new set of regulations dealing with sexual offences against children is to take effect in August.

Officials say six foreigners have been arrested in Nepal in the past two years on allegations of sexually abusing underage children.

with files from CBC News