A former president of the organization that runs Abbotsford’s only Hindu temple has been convicted of sexual assault.
Deepak Sharma, 62, was found guilty last Friday (June 18) in North Vancouver provincial court. He is due back in court June 29 to set a date for his sentencing hearing.
Sharma was a cab driver when he was charged in relation to an incident that occurred Jan. 2, 2019.
A woman and her friend had been in Sharma’s taxi shortly before 1 a.m. They made a stop in the 100 block of Whonoak Road in West Vancouver to pick up some beer from another friend’s house.
The victim was alone in the cab with Sharma while her friend went inside the residence.
The woman was grabbed in the crotch and her hand was forcibly placed in Sharma’s genital area, which had been exposed through an open zipper.
The woman and her friend reported the incident to police after safely returning home.
Sharma was arrested on Jan. 17, 2019 and subsequently charged with sexual assault.
Police at the time said Sharma surrendered his West Vancouver taxi permit after receiving a revocation letter.
At the time of his arrest, Sharma was the president of the Fraser Valley Hindu Cultural Society, which runs the Hindu temple on Walmsley Avenue in west Abbotsford. When the board became aware that he had been charged, they held an emergency meeting, at which time Sharma resigned.