Wife of Edmonton spiritual leader charged with sexual assault weeks after husband was charged

The wife of a man Edmonton police describe as a “self-styled” spiritual leader, and who was charged with sexual assault in January, is now facing three counts of sexual assault herself.

Police said 64-year-old Leigh Ann de Ruiter, wife of John de Ruiter, was arrested on Monday in relation to three separate incidents that are alleged to have happened between 2017 and 2020.

Police said the de Ruiters face charges relating to the same three assaults, while John de Ruiter faces an additional charge related to a fourth incident.

Read more: ‘Self-styled’ Edmonton spiritual leader of Oasis charged with sexual assault

John de Ruiter is the leader of a spiritual and community group known as the College of Integrated Philosophy — or Oasis Group — which operated out of the Oasis Building in west Edmonton — at 109 Avenue and 177 Street — from 2007 to 2021.

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When de Ruiter was arrested on Jan. 21, police said investigators believe he had allegedly told certain female followers that he was directed by a spirit to have sex with them, and that by having sex him the women could achieve a state of higher being or spiritual enlightenment.

John de Ruiter, self-appointed spiritual leader of Oasis Group in Edmonton. Charged Jan. 21, 2023 with four counts of sexual assault. Credit: Facebook/John de Ruiter

John de Ruiter was released on bail on Jan. 27 and was allowed to hold meetings, though not with any of the complainants.

EPS believes there may be more victims and are encouraging anyone who believes they may have been victimized by the two accused to come forward. Anyone with information can call EPS at 780-423-4567 or submit anonymous tips on Crime Stoppers.

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