Abbotsford temple priest jailed for sexual offences involving teen girls

A former Hindu priest who committed sexual offences involving teenage members of his Abbotsford congregation has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison.

Karam Vir, 33, was convicted in May of two counts of touching a young person for a sexual purpose and one count of sexual assault in connection with incidents that took place in 2009 and 2010 while he was employed at a Hindu temple on Walmsley Avenue.

Sentencing took place Sept. 4 in B.C. Supreme Court in Chilliwack.

Vir made sexual advances toward the two victims, who were 17 years old, after befriending them at the temple. One young woman said Vir kissed her and there was brief sexual intercourse and/or touching three times. The other victim testified that Vir talked about wanting to get sexually involved with her but she resisted his sexual advances.

Vir denies abusing the two complainants and maintains his innocence.

Crown had asked for a prison sentence of 3 1/2 to four years, minus time served. Defence countered with a provincial jail sentence of 18 months to two years less a day.

Vir was given four months of credit for time already served. He has been in custody since his conviction in May.