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Austro-Canadian billionaire Frank Stronach of his party Team Stronach arrives at the parliament for a TV discussion during national elections in Vienna, Austria, Sept. 29, 2013.Matthias Schrader/The Associated Press

Canadian businessman Frank Stronach has been arrested and charged in connection with an investigation into alleged sexual assaults spanning from the 1980s to as recently as 2023, according to Peel Regional Police.

Mr. Stronach is the founder and former chief executive officer of auto parts manufacturer Magna International Inc. and the father of former MP Belinda Stronach.

In a statement Friday, Peel Regional Police said investigators from its Special Victims Unit had charged a 91-year-old male from Aurora in connection with a sexual assault investigation. Police said Frank Stronach was arrested and charged with five criminal offences – rape, indecent assault on a female, two counts of sexual assault and forcible confinement.

Peel Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah confirmed to The Globe and Mail that the accused is Mr. Stronach, though he otherwise declined to comment on the case.

It is alleged the sexual assaults occurred from the 1980s to as recently as 2023, police said in the statement.

Peel Regional Police Sergeant Jennifer Trimble said police are not releasing additional details about the case. “Whatever is in the media release is all we are saying right now,” she said.

She did say that Mr. Stronach is not being jailed. “He is currently not in our custody,” she said.

Mr. Stronach lives north of Toronto, while Peel Region is west of Toronto. It’s unclear where the crimes are alleged to have happened.

Criminal defense lawyer Brian Greenspan said he is representing Stronach, who “categorically denies the allegations of impropriety which have been brought against him.”

“He looks forward to the opportunity to fully respond to the charges and to maintain his legacy, both as a philanthropist and as an icon of the Canadian business community,” Greenspan said in a statement.

Tracy Fuerst, vice-president, corporate communications with Magna, said in an e-mail that the company had recently been made aware of the charges filed against Mr. Stronach, but that Magna has no knowledge of the investigation or the allegations that have been raised beyond what has been reported in the media.

Ms. Fuerst added that Mr. Stronach has had no affiliation with Magna since relinquishing control in 2010 and that the company could not provide any further comment on an unresolved legal matter.

Peel police said Mr. Stronach has been released on conditions and will appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton at a later date.

Mr. Stronach was born in Austria and founded Magna International in 1957, then built the company into a multibillion-dollar global supplier of automotive parts.

He sold his stock in Magna and cut ties with the company in 2011. He later founded the Stronach Group, which operates thoroughbred racetracks across North America, and Stronach International, whose focus includes agri-business.

He has been involved in a years-long legal battle with his daughter, onetime politician Belinda Stronach, and other relatives over control of the family fortune.

In 2012, he returned to his home country of Austria and entered federal politics with the creation of his Team Stronach political party, but the party performed poorly and Mr. Stronach was back in Canada by 2014. He was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 1996 and into the U.S.-based Automotive Hall of Fame in 2018, and was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1999.

With a file from The Canadian Press.

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