Editor’s note: This article discusses allegations of sexual abuse.
When Calgary Police located a missing girl in April, the 13-year-old told police that she was in a relationship with 24-year-old Sumrit Walia, who allegedly gave her alcohol, drugs, and vapes in exchange for sex.
Sumrit Walia, and his father, Gurpartap Singh Walia, 56, are believed to be responsible for the extortion and sexual exploitation of teenage girls over months. Both were arrested and charged on Thursday, June 1.
The father and son own and run Haddon Convenience Store, located at 208 Haddon Road SW, and Premier Liquor Wine and Spirits next door, where police believe the assaults occurred.
During the investigation, officers learned that from December 2022 to May 2023, the men provided teenage girls with vapes, marijuana, cigarettes, and alcohol. The girls were then sexually assaulted at the business. The girls could not legally consent, as the age of consent in Canada is 16.
The search of a home at 100 Panamount Close NW turned up seven handguns and 975 grams of cocaine with a street value of $97,500. Police also searched the businesses, where they seized a computer with child pornography. They also found drugs and drug paraphernalia, contraband tobacco, vape cartridges, and collapsible batons.
Sumrit Walia was scheduled to appear in court on June 2 and faces multiple charges, including one count of sexual interference with a minor, one count of sexual exploitation, one count of sexual assault, one count of possession of child pornography, one count of accessing child pornography, one count of creating child pornography, and seven counts of unlawful possession of a firearm.
His father is scheduled to appear in court on June 22 and has been charged with four counts of sexual assault, four counts of sexual interference with a minor, and one count of selling contraband tobacco.
“These are incredibly serious charges, where vulnerable youths were being targeted, exploited, and forced to enter a dangerous lifestyle,” said Staff Sergeant Darren Smith of the Calgary Police Service Child Abuse Unit.
The victims are being supported by the Luna Child and Youth Advocacy Centre.