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Saskatoon priest placed on leave after sexual assault charge


A Saskatoon priest has been placed on administrative leave following sexual assault allegations involving a minor.

Police arrested a 69-year-old man on Wednesday and charged him with sexual assault following a complaint by the mother of a 13-year-old girl.

In a statement shared on social media, the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon said that one of its clergy members had been charged with sexual assault.

"The priest has been placed on administrative leave, effective immediately, and has been removed from active duty pending completion of the legal proceedings," the statement said.

In an interview with CTV News, the Eparchy confirmed St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church pastor Janko Kolosnjaji has been suspended from his pastoral and administrative duties pending the outcome of his criminal charges.

"We want to express empathy and compassion both to the complainant, but as well to Father Janko, who's no doubt going through a really difficult time now ... The charge of sexual assault is such a broad spectrum of what may or may not have happened," Marusia Kobrynsky, a representative for the Eparchy, said

"We just like the public to keep in mind that we need to keep an open mind about this until we know what happened and we have no information about the incident," she said.

According to Kobrynsky, the Eparchy first learned of the sexual assault allegation from media reports.

"We as (the) Eparchy know nothing at all regarding the incident regarding the identity of the complainant, even where it happened," she said.

Kobrynsky said the Eparchy has a protocol in place that provides a means for people with complaints to come forward, and none have been received regarding Kolosnjaji.

"It may be that now that the name is published, we may hear something more from someone. But as of now, we know of no other incidents, no other complaints relating to Father Kolosnjaji," she said.

According to police, the sexual assault allegedly occurred on March 11 in the 200 block of Avenue M South.

Police confirmed to CTV News the alleged incident was connected to a faith-based institution.

The girl's mother made the complaint in person at police headquarters a day later, according to police.

Kolosnjaji is set to make his first appearance in court on May 24. Top Stories

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