Man charged after alleged sex assault linked to ayahuasca ceremony

·1 min read
A healer begins a ceremony using ayahuasca in La Calera, Colombia, in 2014. Peel police say they have charged a man in connection with a sexual assault linked to an incident in Mississauga in late 2020. (Eitan Abramovich/AFP/Getty Images - image credit)
A healer begins a ceremony using ayahuasca in La Calera, Colombia, in 2014. Peel police say they have charged a man in connection with a sexual assault linked to an incident in Mississauga in late 2020. (Eitan Abramovich/AFP/Getty Images - image credit)

A Fonthill, Ont. man is facing a sexual assault charge stemming from an incident at an ayahuasca ceremony that happened in Mississauga last December, Peel police say.

A 26-year-old woman reported the incident happened in a residence in the area of Hurontario Street and Lakeshore Road

Police say she was sexually assaulted while at the ceremony, but wasn't physically hurt.

Ayahuasca is a hallucinogen that can be made into a tea that is traditionally brewed from plants found in the Amazon.

The formula varies, but the beverage always contains the bark of the vine Banisteriopsis caapi as well as leaves of a bush that supply a hallucinogen called N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT).

The drink can induce visions, which were traditionally used in religious rituals. More recently, it has been used for religious or healing reasons, researchers say, as well as recreationally.

Police say a 54-year-old man has been charged in connection with the incident and the investigation is ongoing.

"The accused is known to conduct these ceremonies at various locations throughout Ontario, and investigators believe there may be additional victims," Peel Regional Police said in a news release.

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