OTTAWA — A man who once sought to be Jack Layton’s successor in the Toronto-Danforth riding is accused of sexually assaulting a teen girl at an Ottawa hotel early Friday morning.
Police say Ashraf Ali Rao — a 47 year-old NDP volunteer and recruiter — travelled to Ottawa from Toronto with a 14-year-old girl. The pair was staying at the Quality Hotel on Rideau St. where cops were called around 4:20 a.m., police said.
Rao is accused of groping the girl, police said.
He's charged with sexual assault, sexual interference and forcible confinement.
He appeared in court Friday.
In January 2012, Rao was one of five candidates who put their names forward for the NDP nomination in Toronto-Danforth, the riding party leader Jack Layton held until his death.
Rao, a Pakistani community leader, eventually called off his campaign and threw his support behind another candidate.
NDP spokesman George Soule issued a statement.
“This individual ran for the nomination in Toronto-Danforth but whitdrew. He is not nor has he been on staff. These accusations are shocking. Justice will take its course and he should obviously face the full force of the law if found guilty.”
Staff Sgt. Angela McDade said investigators suspect there could be other victims.
“We have reached out to our partners in Toronto,” she said.