RCMP charge former Sherwood Park school principal with sexual assault

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A former principal at a Sherwood Park school has been charged with sexual assault.

Strathcona County RCMP said Tuesday that on Feb. 2 they received a report of an alleged sexual assault involving the principal at a local school.

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“RCMP initiated an investigation and determined there was one adult female victim,” RCMP said in a news release.

On May 3, Mounties arrested and charged Amit Mali, 42, with three counts of sexual assault and one count of criminal harassment.

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He is the former principal of Sherwood Heights Junior High.

In a statement, Elk Island Public Schools said they received a complaint against an employee in February.

“Following the complaint, the employee was placed on leave and is no longer employed by EIPS,” the statement reads.

“Senior leaders and trustees are very distressed about the incident as the safety of the entire school community is of paramount importance to Elk Island Public Schools. The division cooperated fully with the official investigation but because the matter is now before the courts, we are unable to provide further comment.”

An emailed statement provided to Postmedia Thursday from defence lawyer Eamon O’Keeffe described Mali as a “respected” teacher, principal and basketball coach of 18 years.

“It is regrettable that accusations with such devastating impact for Mr. Mali and his family have been made against him publicly from behind a shield of anonymity,” O’Keefe said in the statement. “Mr. Mali knows the person accusing him. The allegations are false. Mr. Mali looks forward to being vindicated when the truth comes out in court.”

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