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Staffer at Yukon government-contracted NGO charged with sexual assault

RCMP say 37-year-old Victor Omale of Whitehorse man has been charged with sexual assault in connection with his work at a non-governmental organization that works with vulnerable people. (Liny Lamberink/CBC - image credit)
RCMP say 37-year-old Victor Omale of Whitehorse man has been charged with sexual assault in connection with his work at a non-governmental organization that works with vulnerable people. (Liny Lamberink/CBC - image credit)

A Whitehorse man has been charged with sexual assault in connection with his work at a non-governmental organization (NGO) that's contracted by the territorial government.

In a statement on Thursday, Health and Social Services Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee said the matter is being investigated by the RCMP.

In a media release issued Friday, Yukon RCMP said the accused — 37-year-old Victor Omale of Whitehorse — is facing one count of sexual assault.

He's been released with conditions, pending a future court appearance. His first appearance to face the charge is scheduled for November.

Neither the Yukon government nor the RCMP have named the NGO where Omale worked, but court documents identify the organization as Connective (formerly the John Howard Society). Connective, along with the Council of Yukon First Nations, took over operations at the Whitehorse Emergency Shelter last fall. It also runs other support programs in Whitehorse.

In an email to CBC News on Friday, a Connective spokesperson said the organization was aware of criminal allegations against a former staff member in Whitehorse but would not comment further citing "the requirement to protect the privacy and confidentiality of both the service user and the former staff member."

The statement said the organization is supporting the RCMP investigation and has also done its own internal investigation.

Police seeking other potential victims

The RCMP news release on Friday said there may be other victims who have not yet come forward.

"Police are aware that he has also recently worked at other social service organizations, and these organizations have been contacted by police and are also cooperating with the investigation," RCMP said in a statement. "Police will not be naming the organizations in order to protect the identity and security of the victim."

"Investigators ask that anyone with information contact police or reach out to another available resource," the statement reads.

McPhee said the government "immediately took action" after learning of the allegations, and had the employee removed from their position. She said her department is also communicating with anybody who may have had contact with the accused person through the NGO.

She said the department is "fully cooperating" with the RCMP's ongoing investigation.