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Peter Dalglish.

NORDIC NETWORK OF INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS/The Globe and Mail

A prominent Canadian aid worker has been arrested at his mountain villa in Nepal and charged with sexually abusing children, an official said Monday.

Central Investigation Bureau chief Pushkar Karki said Peter Dalglish was arrested in April at his home with two Nepalese boys aged 12 and 14 after weeks of investigation. His case is being heard by a court in Kavre, a town near Kathmandu.

Karki said Dalglish was charged with raping the two boys and faces up to 13 years in prison if convicted.

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Dalglish, 60, has denied the charges.

Dalglish helped found the charity Street Kids International and has worked for decades for a number of humanitarian agencies, including U.N. Habitat in Afghanistan and the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response in Liberia. He has focused much of the time on working children and street children.

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Officials said he helped families who lost their homes during a devastating Nepal earthquake in 2015 that killed 9,000 people and damaged nearly a million houses.

Karki said Dalglish lured children from poor families with promises of education, jobs and trips, and then sexually abused them.

Investigators followed Dalglish for weeks after they received information about alleged abuses, Karki said.

He said officials plan to expand their investigation because they have found evidence linked to cases of child abuse more than 12 years ago. He would not elaborate.

Nepal lacks clear laws on crimes related to pedophilia. A new set of regulations dealing with sexual offences against children is to take effect in August.

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Officials say six foreigners have been arrested in Nepal in the past two years on allegations of sexually abusing underage children.

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