First court appearance for Port Coquitlam Imam charged with sexual assault

A Port Coquitlam imam was scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday afternoon after being charged with sexual assault.

Saaldeldin Bahr, known in the community as Dr. Saad, is the leader of the Masjid Al-Hidayah and Islamic Cultural Centre on Kingsway Avenue, the largest Sunni mosque in B.C. He is also the president of the Islamic Society of B.C.

Bahr’s counsel appeared on his behalf at the Port Coquitlam Provincial Courthouse and the case was adjourned to Oct. 2 for an arraignment hearing.

Police launched their investigation in June and on Sept. 12 Crown counsel approved a sexual-assault charge against Bahr, who for many years has served as Kingsway Avenue’s Masjid Al-Hidaya’s imam – which was also the alleged site of the assault.

The mosque moved to its Kingsway location in 2003 and serves the Muslim communities of Coquitlam, PoCo, Port Moody, Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge, according to the centre’s website, Its regular activities include five daily prayers, weekend Arabic classes, as well as sports and recreational activities.

Bahr’s arraignment hearing will take place at 9 a.m. Oct. 2 at the Port Coquitlam Provincial Courthouse