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Toronto Liberal candidate removed from party following 2019 sexual assault charge

Last Updated Sep 18, 2021 at 1:09 pm EDT

Liberal Party candidate Kevin Vuong. Kevin Vuong/Instagram

The Liberal party has removed a Toronto-based candidate after sexual assault allegations surfaced in recent days.

Officials are currently reviewing the events regarding the Crown’s decision to drop a sexual assault charge in 2019 made against Spadina Fort-York’s Kevin Vuong.

The party said Friday it had learned of the allegations against Vuong through a report in the Toronto Star a day earlier and had asked him to “pause” his campaign.

In a statement issued Saturday, the Liberals vowed they are taking the matter very seriously.

“As we stated yesterday, the Liberal Party became aware of the allegations concerning Mr. Vuong from the media and asked him to pause his campaign while the matter was looked into,” the Liberals said.

“After further review, Mr. Vuong will no longer be a Liberal candidate, and should he be elected, he will not be a member of the Liberal caucus.”

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau addressed the allegations at a campaign stop in Windsor, Ont. on Friday.

“We only learned about these serious allegations yesterday through the work of the Star,” Trudeau said.

“We have questions about that, we have questions about exactly what happened, we’re looking into that very rapidly, and in the meanwhile, we have asked the candidate to pause his campaign.”

Vuong denied the allegations against him in a statement Friday and noted the charge was withdrawn.

Court documents confirm Vuong was charged with sexual assault in 2019 and that the charge was withdrawn later that year.

Spadina Fort-York was previously represented by Liberal Adam Vaughan, who is not running again in 2021.

With files from The Canadian Press