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64-year-old priest of Sikh temple arrested for sexually assaulting minor over 7 years

New York, April 14 (IANS) The 64-year-old priest of a Sikh temple in Pennsylvania has been arrested for allegedly sexually-assaulting a girl when she was five-year-old by “inappropriately touching” her for at least seven years, a media report said.

Balwinder Singh of Drexel Hill in Delaware County was recently charged with unlawful contact with a minor, indecent assault of a person less than 13 years old, corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of children — all felonies, Delaware-based Daily Times newspaper reported.

According to an affidavit written by Upper Darby Special Investigations Detective Kevin Knapp, the victim, now an adult, reported the alleged assaults at police headquarters on January 24 this year with an intent to “seek justice”.

In a recorded statement, she stated that the assaults began when she was a first-grader attending classes on religious hymns at the temple on Fridays.

The girl said she had spoken about the alleged assaults with a school staff member in January 2014, when she turned 12.

She had also provided a recorded statement to a detective from Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division but the probe didn’t go further as her family reached an agreement with the temple and Singh.

According to the agreement, Singh would have no further contact with the girl, and the victim’s family would not go ahead with criminal charges, according to the affidavit.

Defence Attorney Chris Boggs declined to comment, the Daily Times said.

Singh was preliminarily arraigned last week before Magisterial District Judge Andrew Goldberg, who set bail at 10 per cent of $100,000, which was posted on the same day, according to court records.

He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing before Goldberg on April 20.

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