Former Saskatoon private Christian school coach charged with sexual assault, exploitation of a minor

A former student at the private Christian Centre Academy, now Legacy Christian Academy, says one of the individuals listed in their Statement of Claim has been charged criminally by police.

This morning the Saskatoon Police Service issued a news release indicating that charges have been laid in an investigation into historical sexual assaults with faith-based affiliations.

Caitlin Erikson said on social media she was elated by the news and referred to the accused as a former coach at Christian Centre Academy. She also indicates that the Saskatchewan Professional Teachers Regulatory Board has hired an investigator to investigate students’ allegations.

The Saskatoon Police Service says a report was made in August 2022 alleging sexual assault occurring between 2008 and 2012.

As a result of an investigation by members of the Saskatoon Police Service Interpersonal Violence Section, a 46-year-old Edmonton man, Aaron Benneweis, has been charged with sexual assault and sexual exploitation of a minor while in a position of trust or authority. He turned himself into police on January 31, was arrested, was processed, released on conditions, and is expected in court on March 13.

A $25-million class-action lawsuit has been filed against some of the school’s staff members. Allegations of abuse include exorcism, solitary confinement, and paddling.

In the aftermath of the class-action lawsuit being filed, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education removed the teachers named in the lawsuit from the classroom.

The government-appointed administrators were also named last summer for three independent schools for the 2022-23 school year that currently have someone employed who was named in a recent lawsuit by former students.

As of August 24, Mike Walters oversaw Legacy Christian Academy, Dave Derksen at Grace Christian School, and Randy Fox at Regent Christian Academy. The government says the administrators’ priorities will be to direct the operations of the schools to ensure student safety and well-being and to provide a positive learning environment for students.

Their duties will include reviewing staff lists to determine if the appropriate staff will continue to provide teaching and other services within the schools. They will also be reviewing the school policies and procedures, as well as reviewing historical documentation, to make recommendations for any changes that might be appropriate or necessary.

Formal reports from the administrators will be submitted to the Ministry of Education at least monthly to ensure the schools are teaching Saskatchewan curricula.

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