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RCMP have charged a central Alberta youth with sexual assaults involving boys and girls, including some who were on trips with Scouts Canada and Cadets Canada.

The charges include sexual assault with a weapon, sexual assault, sexual interference and doing an indecent act.

Police say the allegations involving five victims from the central Alberta area took place between 2011 and 2015.

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"I understand it has caused quite a bit of alarm given the groups that were involved here — with Scouts Canada and Cadets Canada," Cpl. Leanne Molzahn said Tuesday.

"We are thankful that a victim has came forward which initiated the investigation just to hold a person responsible for these alleged incidents."

Police say the 17-year-old suspect from Red Deer was involved in Scouts between 2007 and 2012 and with Cadets between 2011 and 2015.

He has been released from custody with conditions under the supervision of an adult and is to appear in Red Deer provincial court on July 9.

RCMP began investigating in May after receiving a complaint.

John Petitti, a spokesman for Scouts Canada, said the organization was first contacted by RCMP about the allegations on June 29.

He said Scouts Canada has provided information to police, but there isn't much it can say as the case is before the courts.

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Petitti said the allegations emphasize the need for education and training about child and youth safety.

"This is a tough one," he said from Ottawa.

"We need to make sure that youth and their parents understand what is acceptable behaviour, are aware of the channels through which to report behaviour that is not acceptable and are confident that if they should make a report of that type that we will act upon it."

Officials with Cadets Canada were not immediately available for comment.

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