Samuel Emerson and his wife Madelaine from the Cloverdale Christian Fellowship Church in Surrey, British Columbia, are facing more than a dozen charges including sexual assault.
Police, according to this report, say the alleged assaults occurred between 2015 and 2017.
Samuel Emerson, 34, 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.
His 37-year-old wife 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.
No one at the church was immediately available to respond to a request for comment.
The investigation is ongoing and the police say they believe there may be other victims that have not come forward.
Corporal Scotty Schumann said in a statement:
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.
He added that victim services workers are available to listen and provide emotional support.
The 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.
The Cloverdale Christian Fellowship Church is now known as the Cloverdale Church.
This report says that no mention of Samuel or Madelaine Emerson is on the church’s website, but according to his social media accounts, Samuel Emerson was a pastor at Cloverdale Church, and worked with Youth Church Cloverdale.
On May 18, 2017, the day the couple were arrested, Randy Emerson, Samuel’s father and current pastor of Cloverdale Church, took to Facebook to write:
If you know us and our church please pray. We are under attack like never before and we need the accuser of the saints to be silenced and Truth prevail.
Two days later, he wrote
Thank you to everyone who is praying for us and expressing love at this time. You are making a difference. This is a time when we must not believe with our eyes and ears but with our spirits. Let God be true and every man a liar. Can’t be specific at this time but your prayers are making a difference.
Hat tip: Andy