Deepak Sharma of Abbotsford has been charged with then alleged sexual assault of one of his cab passengers in West Vancouver.

B.C. taxi driver charged for allegedly sexually assaulting cab passenger

Deepak Sharma of Abbotsford resigns after board holds emergency meeting

The president of the organization that runs Abbotsford’s only Hindu temple has resigned after being charged with sexual assault while working in his job as a taxi driver.

Court records indicate that taxi driver Deepak Sharma, 60, of Abbotsford was charged in relation to an alleged incident on Jan. 2 in West Vancouver involving a passenger.

Const. Jeff Palmer, spokesperson for the West Vancouver Police Department (WVPD), confirmed the charge and said the alleged victim came forward in the early morning of Jan. 2.

She stated that she had been in Sharma’s taxi shortly before 1 a.m. and was waiting for a friend in the 100 block of Whonoak Road in West Vancouver, Palmer said.

He said the woman alleged that she was grabbed in the crotch and her hand was then forcibly placed in the driver’s genital area, which had been exposed through an open zipper.

Palmer said the woman and her friend reported the alleged incident to police after safely returning home.

READ MORE: New Hindu temple under construction in Abbotsford

READ MORE: Former Abbotsford Hindu priest sentenced for sex offences

The incident was then investigated, and Sharma was arrested on Jan. 17 and subsequently charged with sexual assault.

He made his first appearance in North Vancouver provincial court on Wednesday.

Palmer said Sharma surrendered his West Vancouver taxi permit after receiving a revocation letter.

Sharma was the president of the Fraser Valley Hindu Cultural Society, which runs the Hindu temple on Walmsley Avenue in west Abbotsford.

When Black Press Media contacted the society for comment on Thursday, board members were unaware that Sharma had been charged.

Vice-president Ashok Sharma (no relation), said that an emergency meeting was called that evening, with Deepak in attendance.

“He told us he would resign,” Ashok said.

He said Deepak confirmed the charge, but denied that he had committed any offence. Ashok said the board was shocked to hear about the accusation.

“We couldn’t believe it because he’s a good guy … We have never noticed anything like that.”

He said Deepak served a previous two-year term as president about six years ago.

This is not the first time that an individual involved with the Hindu temple has been linked to sexual improprieties.

Karam Vir, a former priest at the temple, was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison in 2013 for sexual offences involving two teenage girls.

Vir had been in Canada on a work visa and was deported back to India after completing his sentence in 2015.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Wait’s News lives! Iconic Nelson diner to relocate

Wait’s will set up shop on Nelson Avenue later this year

MS Bike Challenge raises over $81,000

The annual event in Nelson included over 60 cyclists

Nelson’s Maglio hired by Spokane Chiefs

Adam Maglio will serve as an assistant coach with the WHL team

COLUMN: Working together on climate action with our MLAs

Katherine Oldfield writes about the Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s trip to Victoria

Buddhist monument to be dedicated in Slocan cemetery

A new post has been created to mark the site where at least nine Japanese Canadians were cremated

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

B.C. removes personal limits for bringing home out-of-province alcohol

Previous relgulations placed limits on the amount of liquor that B.C. residents could bring home

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Most Read