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More sexual assault charges laid against John and Leigh Ann de Ruiter

Leigh Ann and John de Ruiter have both been charged with several counts of sexual assault. (Source: YouTube) Leigh Ann and John de Ruiter have both been charged with several counts of sexual assault. (Source: YouTube)

A self-proclaimed spiritual leader is now accused of sexually assaulting seven women, and his wife is charged in five of those cases as well, Edmonton police announced Thursday.

Johannes (John) de Ruiter, 63, was arrested on Jan. 22.

He was initially accused of sexually assaulting four women in separate incidents between 2017 and 2020.

On Wednesday, three additional counts of sexual assault were laid involving three separate incidents alleged to have occurred between 2012 and 2019.

Police say de Ruiter is leader of the College of Integrated Philosophy, or the Oasis Group, which operated out of the Oasis Building in west Edmonton from 2007 to 2021.

Leigh Ann de Ruiter, 64, was arrested on March 13 and initially charged with three counts of sexual assault.

Police said the charges against Leigh Ann are related to three of the same incidents that John is accused in.

On Wednesday, Leigh Ann was jointly charged in two of the new cases John is also accused in.

In January, when John was granted bail, his lawyer claimed that the cases were actually consensual sex.

Dino Bottos said the women are now alleging they "were somehow placed under his spell or that he was somehow deceiving them into believing that they should sleep with him in order to find a higher state of consciousness."

Bottos then told reporters the charges will be "hotly contested" by John and a number of witnesses.

Leigh Ann was also granted bail on the initial charges.

Both she and John are next scheduled to appear in court on June 21 at 9 a.m.

Police, meanwhile, say there may be additional victims of the de Ruiter's and are encouraging anyone with information to call 780-423-4567 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Karyn Mulcahy Top Stories

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