03/05/2015 08:52 EST | Updated 05/06/2015 05:59 EDT

Abraham Azhakathu, Alberta Catholic Priest, Denies Sexually Harassing Minor

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Cork, Ireland

PEACE RIVER, Alta. - A Catholic priest has vehemently denied sexually touching a minor at a church in northwestern Alberta.

Abraham Azhakathu testified Thursday at his trial on charges of sexual assault and sexual touching.

The 60-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to both charges, stemming from allegations from between May and August in 2013 in Manning, Alta.

There is a publication ban on anything that would identify the complainant.

Azhakathu testified he helped the minor put on church garments once or twice, but strongly denied touching the minor's private parts.

The minor's aunt says her relative attended the church in Manning five or six times.



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