Edmonton spritual leader of Oasis charged with sexual assault

The leader of a spiritual and community group known as the College of Integrated Philosophy or Oasis Group, has been charged with four counts of sexual assault.

 

Edmonton police said 63-year-old Johannes (John) de Ruiter was arrested on Saturday and charged with sexually assaulting four complainants in seperate incidents between 2017 and 2020, and investigators believe there may be additional victims.

De Ruiter is originally from Stettler. He’s been sharing his so-called spiritual teachings for more than three decades.

In a news release on Monday, EPS describes the accused as a "self-styled" and "self-appointed" spiritual leader. 

The Oasis Group operated out of the Oasis Building in west Edmonton — at 109 Avenue and 177 Street — from 2007 to 2021.

Police said de Ruiter is "currently holding meetings at an office building on St. Albert Trail in St. Albert, and offers spiritual retreats out of a campground near Smith, Alberta." 

Police were told that the accused “informed certain female group members that he was directed by a spirit to engage in sexual activity with them, and that engaging in sexual activity with him will provide them an opportunity to achieve a state of higher being or spiritual enlightenment.”

The College of Integrated Philosophy said in an emailed response: "de Ruiter will be represented by legal counsel and intends to vigorously contest these charges in a court of law." 

Anyone who believes they have been victimized by the accused is asked to call the Edmonton Police Service at 780-423-4567 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. 

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