Sep 12, 2023

Alberta spiritual leader John de Ruiter facing new sexual-assault charge

Globe and Mail



A self-styled Alberta spiritual leader accused of sexually assaulting multiple women in his community of followers is facing a new charge of sexual assault.

The man, John de Ruiter, is now charged with eight separate counts of sexual assault in relation to alleged incidents dating back to 2012. His wife, Leigh Ann de Ruiter, is also facing a new sexual-assault charge, bringing the total number of allegations against her up to six.

The couple have not yet entered pleas in any of the cases, and a date has not yet been set for trial.

Mr. de Ruiter, 63, was first arrested in January. At the time, police said he had “informed certain female group members that he was directed by a spirit to engage in sexual activity with them, and that engaging in sexual activity with him will provide them an opportunity to achieve a state of higher being or spiritual enlightenment.”

Ms. de Ruiter – who is 64, and is also known by her maiden name, Leigh Ann Angermann – was arrested in March.

Mr. and Ms. de Ruiter are both free on bail on a number of conditions, including that Mr. de Ruiter not have unsupervised contact with women other than his daughter, his wife and another woman who lives with the couple.

Police previously said investigators believe there may be other complainants, and were urging anyone who believes they have been victimized to come forward.

Mr. de Ruiter’s next court appearance is slated for Sept. 18.


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