Peter Dalglish, 60, who was arrested last month at his home in Nepal has been charged with raping children after he was allegedly found with two young boys, 12 and 14
A prominent Canadian aid worker who was arrested last month at his home in Nepal has been charged with sexually abusing children.
Peter Dalglish was arrested at his home with two Nepalese boys aged 12 and 14 when police performed a raid on his idyllic mountainside home in Nagarkot, near Kathmandu on April 8, according to Central Investigation Bureau chief Pushkar Karki.
Karki said Dalglish was charged with raping the two boys and faces up to 13 years in prison if convicted.
Authorities said Dalglish, 60, lured children from poor families with promises of education, jobs and trips, and then sexually abused them.
Investigators followed Dalglish for weeks after they received information about alleged abuses, Karki said.
He said officials plan to expand their investigation because they have found evidence linked to cases of child abuse more than 12 years ago, but he would not elaborate.
According to The Globe and Mail, the father of one of the boys found inside Dalglish's home said both children gave police graphic explanations of the man's alleged sexual contact with them.
Dalglish, who received the Order of Canada in 2016, denied the allegations to the Mail on Sunday through his lawyer, Rahul Chapagain, who said Dalglish will plead not guilty.
Chapagain told the publication that photographs found in Dalglish's home of children, some who were naked, were similar to those an ordinary tourist would take of children living in poverty.
Dalglish was charged with raping the two boys on Monday and faces up to 13 years in prison if convicted
Dalglish was arrested after he was found with the two Nepalese boys when police performed a raid on his idyllic mountainside home (pictured) in Nagarkot, near Kathmandu on April 8, according to Central Investigation Bureau chief Pushkar Karki
Dalglish himself, speaking from behind bars, told the paper he had a clean criminal record, and had simply been targeted because of his close work with young children.
'If you do the work that I do, with kids, you leave yourself open to criticism. And suspicion,' he said last month.
Dalglish has held various posts, some senior, with UN agencies in Nepal, Kabul, Afghanistan and Liberia.
He has also been appointed Senior Urban Advisor to the World Health Organization to help coordinate global efforts to stop the spread of Ebola.
In his most recent posting in 2015, he was the UN’s ‘country representative’ in Kabul.
Detectives claim the lawyer-turned-charity boss has been abusing children in Nepal for 15 years, after a young man in his mid-20s made historical allegations against him.
Officers said they were tipped off by workers from another charity three months ago, but also received intelligence from a foreign law enforcement agency more recently, and were following Dalglish prior to the arrest.
‘Initial investigations revealed that he had been targeting children from poor financial backgrounds and sexually abusing them,’ Karki said.
Karki told The Mail on Sunday that Dalglish believed his status would make him invulnerable, adding: ‘Those things made it easy for him to prey on those kids. And then they would be silenced, because he has got so much influence.’
Nepal lacks clear laws on crimes related to pedophilia. A new set of regulations dealing with sexual offenses against children will take effect in August.
Dalglish, who worked at the UN for 30 years, has denied the allegations against him. Dalglish, whose net worth has been estimated at nearly $7million USD, has met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Princess Anne through his humanitarian work
Officials said six foreigners have been arrested in Nepal in the past two years on allegations of sexually abusing underage children.
Dalglish's case is being heard by a court in Kavre, a town near Kathmandu.
Staff at various UN agencies have urgently been investigating Dalglish’s past activities.
The married father-of-one founded global charity Street Kids International (SKI), which is now part of London-based Save the Children.
He said he was inspired to help youngsters by the 1984 Ethiopian famine, which gave rise to Band Aid and Live Aid, and in his autobiography he writes of meeting Bob Geldof the following year at a camp in Sudan.
He recalled watching refugee children cluster around Geldof and observed: ‘I have always believed that many kids come with a built-in radar that tells them which adults they can trust and which they should fear.’
Dalglish, whose net worth has been estimated at nearly $7million USD, has met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Princess Anne through his humanitarian work.
About 15 years ago, he founded the Himalayan Community Foundation, providing healthcare and education to remote communities in Nepal.
Dalglish’s UN career spans more than 30 years, and at various times he has held senior posts in the World Food Programme (WFP), Unicef, WHO, and UN-Habitat, the organization’s home-building program.
WFP said it was checking its records for the mid-1980s but had not yet found Dalglish’s name – a spokesman added that he could have been a local appointment.
Dalglish himself, speaking from behind bars, said he had a clean criminal record, and had simply been targeted because of his close work with young children
UN-Habitat revealed that Dalglish worked for it between 2010 and 2015, but there have ‘not been any reports or allegations on any misconduct during his tenure’.
WHO said it was ‘shocked’ at the allegations but added that no complaints had been made against him.
Save the Children said Dalglish had never worked for the charity, adding: ‘Save the Children acquired one of SKI’s programs and some of its assets in 2015.’
Unicef said they were reviewing their records. Sir Bob Geldof declined to comment.
Officials said he also helped families who lost their homes during a devastating Nepal earthquake in 2015 that killed 9,000 people and damaged nearly a million houses.