Trial into allegations against former principal at Legacy Christian Academy begins

اخبار العرب-كندا 24: الاثنين 10 يونيو 2024 01:55 مساءً

A trial into the former principal at Legacy Christian Academy, the Saskatoon private school formerly known as Christian Centre Academy, is underway.

Last fall, John Olubobokun, 63, pleaded not guilty to eight counts of assault with a weapon. The trial is scheduled for June 10 to 13, 2024.

Proceedings began Monday with court hearing Olubobokun is facing an additional charge, bringing the total to be litigated in this trial to nine.

A former student who says he was kicked out of the school and was paddled by the accused in order to be allowed to return to school is set to be the first witness in the trial.

On Sunday, former students from the private Christian school rallied in front of the school asking to stop the funding of "the legacy of abuse".

Ahead of this week's trial, former students of the academy held a protest outside of the school over the weekend asking for the

Ahead of this week's trial, former students of the academy held a protest outside of the school over the weekend asking for the "legacy of abuse" to be ended.

Ahead of this week's trial, former students of the academy held a protest outside of the school over the weekend asking for the "legacy of abuse" to be ended. (Trevor Bothorel/Radio-Canada)

The students have launched a proposed class-action lawsuit against the academy and the church attached to the school, Mile Two, with allegations including paddlings, coercion, traumatizing rituals and solitary confinement.

The allegations in the lawsuit have not been tested in court.

Caitlin Erickson is the lead plaintiff on the suit and said their protest was also in support of the former students who are testifying at Olubobokun's trial.

"We are just out here to raise more awareness, as we have been doing for the last two years," Erickson said Sunday.

"We really would like to see the provincial government stop funding this place with public tax dollars. It's absolutely insane that they continue to double down and support this place."

Former students of Legacy Christian Academy in Saskatoon and other protestors gathered outside Mile Two Church on Sunday, June 9, calling for the government to stop funding the school.

Former students of Legacy Christian Academy in Saskatoon and other protestors gathered outside Mile Two Church on Sunday, June 9, calling for the government to stop funding the school.

Former students of Legacy Christian Academy in Saskatoon and other protestors gathered outside Mile Two Church on Sunday, June 9, calling for the government to stop funding the school. (Trevor Bothorel/Radio-Canada)

The Ministry of Education said it was aware of the protest and said it is important to support parent choice and the ability to access faith-based education in Saskatchewan.

"We are coming from a place of four decades of abuse victims. And the fact that there has been a new recent criminal complaint is just absolutely sickening. And this is funded by our public dollars," Erickson said.

Saskatoon police said they are investigating a new complaint, filed earlier this month, involving a Legacy staff member.

Former students have detailed allegations against former staff members at the school, and dozens of students have said they filed criminal complaints with police.

Police say multiple allegations of historical assaults were made against Olubobokun in 2021 and 2022.

He also faces four other assault with a weapon charges jointly with another former academy official, Duff Friesen, but those charges were adjourned to Nov. 16.

Aaron Benneweis and Ken Schultz are the other two people who have been charged in relation to the school.

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