SURREY, B.C. — Police say a pastor from a church in Surrey, B.C., and his wife are facing more than a dozen charges including sexual assault.
RCMP say the alleged assaults occurred between 2015 and 2017 and involve a pastor from the Cloverdale Christian Fellowship Church.
Police say 34-year-old Samuel Emerson has been charged with 13 counts of sexual assault, 11 counts of being in a position of authority and touching a person for a sexual purpose, and one count of sexual touching of a person under the age of 16.
They say the man's wife, 37-year-old Madelaine Emerson, has been charged with one count each of sexual assault and threats to cause death or bodily harm, and one count of being in a position of authority and touching a person for a sexual purpose.
Calling the police to report a sexual assault is a very difficult thing to do, especially when the suspect is someone you knew and trusted, and can leave lifelong emotional scars.Cpl. Scotty Schumann
No one at the church was immediately available to respond to a request for comment.
The investigation is ongoing and RCMP say they believe there may be other victims that have not come forward to police.
"Calling the police to report a sexual assault is a very difficult thing to do, especially when the suspect is someone you knew and trusted, and can leave lifelong emotional scars," Cpl. Scotty Schumann said in a statement.
He added that victim services workers are available to listen and provide emotional support.
The RCMP's investigation into the alleged assaults began in May, when officers received complaints of several incidents of sexual assault, sexual touching and threats.
Police say the man and a woman were arrested on May 18 and later released on strict conditions.
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