China News Service, Toronto, June 18 (Reporter Yu Ruidong) The RCMP in Manitoba, a central province of Canada, disclosed on June 17 that it had arrested a 92-year-old retired pastor and charged him with indecent assault.

The priest is accused of sexually assaulting girls at an Aboriginal boarding school.

  RCMP revealed to the media in Winnipeg that the retired pastor named Arthur Mars was arrested at his Winnipeg residence on the 16th.

He was subsequently released conditionally but is due to appear in court in late July.

  Maas's alleged crimes occurred between 1968 and 1970.

The female student who was victimized at the time was about 10 years old.

The boarding school in question was established in 1905 and closed in 1970.

  The case has been under investigation for more than 10 years.

The boarding school case was referred to the Major Crimes Unit of the Manitoba RCMP for follow-up in February 2010.

Investigators began gathering information and launched a criminal investigation in 2011.

  During the investigation of the case, the police not only needed to conduct file research, but also learned about the situation from more than 700 people across North America, and obtained a total of 75 testimonies from witnesses and victims.

  In the end, the police only brought one charge.

Police said that due to the passage of time, many victims were unable to participate in the investigation, some for mental or physical health reasons, and some died.

  After the establishment of the Canadian Confederation, in order to enforce the "assimilation" of the aboriginal people, a boarding school system was gradually established.

More than 150,000 Aboriginal children have been sent to boarding schools for segregated education.

Schools are mostly run by the Catholic Church.

The system has existed for over a hundred years.

The last boarding school was closed until 1996.

Statistics show that thousands of children died in boarding schools.

Since May 2021, a large number of children's remains or unmarked graves have been found at the site of aboriginal boarding schools in many parts of Canada.

More than 1,000 remains or tombs have been discovered accumulatively.

  The Holy See announced in mid-May this year that Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Canada in late July to advance reconciliation with Canada's First Nations over the history of boarding schools.

It follows a "historic" apology from the Pope on April 1 for the role of the Catholic Church in Canada's Aboriginal boarding school system.

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