WARNING: This story incorporates disturbing particulars.
A former principal and trainer at Saskatoon’s Legacy Christian Academy, a non-public Christian faculty previously referred to as Christian Centre Academy, has been charged with 11 counts of assault with a weapon following an investigation by Saskatoon Police Service’s interpersonal violence part.
Duff Friesen, 65, turned himself in to Saskatoon police on Thursday. He made an look in Saskatoon provincial court docket on Thursday afternoon.
Friesen was launched on situations that he not maintain a place of authority over somebody beneath 18 years outdated — whether or not or not it’s as a volunteer, worker or in any other case — and that he not contact any of the complainants or their household.
He’s anticipated again in court docket on July 17.
Former college students on the academy had been referred to as Thursday morning to allow them to know Friesen can be in court docket. Some who appeared within the courtroom gallery say they hadn’t seen Friesen in additional than a decade.
“I went into faculty each single day all through my childhood being completely terrified to be in that constructing,” mentioned Robynne Cuthbert.
“To have it flipped and see him in a state of, clearly very uncomfortable … it is rather validating to really feel like our tales are being heard, individuals are recognizing simply how extreme the abuse was, and it’s good to see a shift within the energy dynamic.”
Police say the fees stem from historic assault allegations made in 2021 and 2022. The victims and the accused had been identified to one another by way of their affiliation with a Saskatoon faith-based establishment, in keeping with the police information launch.
Former pupil Caitlin Erickson mentioned she’s conscious of greater than 60 police complaints towards workers on the faculty from former college students and expects extra.
She mentioned college students had been paddled and punished from minor offences like turning round of their chair and taking too lengthy within the rest room.
“These are very, very foolish and completely regular developmental issues that youngsters try this they’d actually beat us for,” she mentioned.
“It’s very laborious to pay attention and do your faculty work when you have got the fixed anxiousness and worry, and you too can hear down the hallway your classmates getting beat.”
Jen Beaudry alleged that, whereas he was principal, Friesen would aggressively pinch the again of her neck at random.
Friesen is considered one of greater than 20 defendants accused of abusing and failing former college students on the former Saskatoon Christian Centre Church and the Christian Centre Academy faculty, now generally known as Mile Two Church and Legacy Christian Academy.
Lawsuit towards faculty, workers continues
Former college students have launched a $25-million lawsuit alleging bodily and sexual abuse.
Within the amended state of declare, a plaintiff within the lawsuit accuses Friesen of bending him over a chair and putting him laborious on the buttocks thrice for telling “inappropriate jokes” when he was 11 years outdated.
One other plaintiff accuses Friesen and different workers of the varsity of comparable abuse.
“In response to an allegation of whispering and laughing throughout church service on the Church within the fall of 2003, on the Monday following the alleged whispering and laughing throughout church service, a majority of the scholars on the feminine volleyball staff had been lined up within the auditorium and berated by the director John Olubobokun, faculty principal Duff Friesen and coach Fran Thevenot,” the assertion of declare learn.
“[A plaintiff] was taken right into a aspect room, as had been all different college students on the feminine volleyball staff, and stricken repeatedly on the buttocks with a picket paddle inside earshot of the opposite volleyball gamers.”
The lawsuit has not been examined in court docket.
Friesen served a stint as principal of Regent Academy — a Prince Albert Christian College — following his departure from Legacy Christian Academy.
Help is on the market for anybody who has been sexually assaulted. You’ll be able to entry disaster traces and native help providers by way of this Authorities of Canada web site or the Ending Violence Affiliation of Canada database. For those who’re in fast hazard or worry on your security or that of others round you, please name 911.