$data.PageTitle

The RCMP released this photo of the suspect on Aug. 23, 2019. (Nova Scotia RCMP)

HALIFAX -- A 49-year-old man who had access to youth in his community has been charged with sexual offences after an alleged incident involving a boy in Port Hawkesbury, N.S.

The RCMP received a complaint on Aug. 23 that a man had approached a nine-year-old boy in the washroom of a store, forced him into a stall, and pulled the boy’s pants down.

Police say the boy managed to get away and immediately told a family member what had happened.

Police and staff at the store searched the area, but were unable to locate the suspect.

Investigators obtained a description of the suspect from witnesses and surveillance photos and released the information to the public.

As a result, police say they received tips which helped them identify the suspect.

During their investigation, police also learned about a similar incident in Sydney River, N.S., on Aug. 19.

Police obtained a warrant to search the suspect’s home, where he was arrested on Tuesday.

James Darren Peters of Lower L’Ardoise, N.S., has been charged with sexual interference, unlawful confinement, sexual assault and assault, as well as two counts of enticing a child from a parent.

Peters were held in custody and appeared in Port Hawkesbury provincial court Thursday. He was released by the court on strict conditions.

Police say Peters held a position in the community which allowed him access to youth, and there could be more potential victims.

Investigators are asking anyone who may have been a victim to contact the RCMP.