Canadian businessman Frank Stronach charged in sex assault probe

Frank Stronach, pictured here in 2015, has been charged with five criminal offences following a sexual assault investigation, Peel Regional Police say. (CBC - image credit)

Well-known Canadian businessman Frank Stronach has been arrested and charged in a sexual assault investigation, according to Peel Regional Police.

Police said Stronach, 91, of Aurora, Ont., was arrested in Peel Region, west of Toronto, on Friday and charged with five offences, including rape, indecent assault on a female, two counts of sexual assault and forcible confinement.

Stronach is the founder and former CEO of auto parts manufacturer Magna International, and the father of former MP Belinda Stronach.

Police allege that the sexual assaults spanned from the 1980s to 2023. Investigators from Peel's special victims unit carried out the investigation. Police said there is more than one alleged victim but would not provide a number.

In a statement on Friday, Brian Greenspan, Stronach's defence lawyer, said his client denies the allegations.

"Mr. Stronach categorically denies the allegations of impropriety which have been brought against him. He looks forward to the opportunity to fully respond to the charges and to maintain his legacy, both as a philanthropist and as an icon of the Canadian business community," the statement said.

Tracy Fuerst, vice-president of corporate communications for Magna International, said in an email on Friday that Stronach relinquished control of the company in 2010 and has had no affiliation with it since then.

"We have recently been made aware of the charges filed against Frank Stronach. Magna has no knowledge of the investigation or the allegations that have been raised beyond what has been reported in the media," Fuerst said.

Stronach is to appear in court in Brampton on July 8.

Members of the public who have relevant information are urged to come forward, police said.