Former Sask. Christian school students decry lack of action on assault, abuse allegations

Saskatoon police say they're still reviewing dozens of assault and abuse complaints laid more than 500 days ago by former students of Legacy Christian Academy, formerly known as Christian Centre Academy. (Jason Warick/CBC - image credit)
Saskatoon police say they're still reviewing dozens of assault and abuse complaints laid more than 500 days ago by former students of Legacy Christian Academy, formerly known as Christian Centre Academy. (Jason Warick/CBC - image credit)

Former students who told police a year and a half ago they suffered criminal assault and abuse while attending a private Saskatoon Christian school say they are still awaiting action on their allegations.

"It took a lot for us to come forward, so we'd really like the justice system to do something," said former student Caitlin Erickson, who filed her police statement in the spring of 2021.

Complainants say officials with Legacy Christian Academy and the adjacent Mile Two Church subjected them to exorcisms, solitary confinement, sexual abuse and a severe form of corporal punishment known as "paddling."

Following a CBC News investigation this summer, dozens of students have spoken publicly, filed police complaints and joined a proposed $25 million class-action lawsuit naming more than 20 officials. None of the allegations have been tested in court.

Adam Hunter/CBC
Adam Hunter/CBC

The provincial government has appointed an administrator to oversee the school, but the former students say that's not good enough. They want the government to close the school or at least suspend its annual taxpayer subsidy of more than $700,000.

They say individuals should also face justice.

Erickson and Scharfstein say they hope police will take action on each complaint as it's evaluated, particularly the original allegations filed more than 500 days ago.

Saskatoon police say they handed some of the files to Crown prosecutors for review in April and are still investigating.

"At present, no decisions have been made," a Saskatoon Police Services official said in an email.

Trevor Bothorel/CBC
Trevor Bothorel/CBC

"As police, we understand the elevated level of public interest in this investigation but must maintain a thorough and fair investigation for all parties involved to ensure the appropriate conclusions are arrived on."

According to police, 35 former students have filed complaints.

Erickson says there are more than that:  former Legacy students living elsewhere in Saskatchewan, Alberta and other provinces have filed complaints with the RCMP and other police agencies in their home communities.

An official from Saskatchewan Justice said they do not comment on investigations.