Police believe a former Winnipeg rabbi charged with sexual assault has fled to the United States.

A warrant was issued for the arrest of 42-year-old Yacov Simmonds in October of 2017.

Police say there are three complainants and the alleged incidents occurred between 1993 and 1999.

Simmonds faces three counts of sexual assault, three counts of sexual interefrence, and two counts of invitation to sexual touching.

Officers say he is aware of the warrant and is actively evading police.

The directors of Lubavitch Centre, where Simmonds worked between 2000 and 2016, responded to the news of the charges with a statement:

"We have been advised that these charges relate to matters that allegedly occurred prior to Rabbi Simmonds' engagement with the centre. the matter was brought to our attention in january 2016 after which the centre concluded an agreement to terminate Rabbi Simmonds' employment.

As the matter is now before the courts and out of respect for the families involved, we have no further comment to make at this time."