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Sudden guilty plea expected by ex-Young Canadian staffer Philip Heerema

Long-time employee of the Calgary Stampede's performance group, The Young Canadians, Philip Heerema is expected to plead guilty to sex abuse charges. Global News

Global News has confirmed Philip Heerema, 55, will enter guilty pleas in his child sex abuse case.

The pleas will come mid-trial. Heerema’s defence lawyer Allan Fay confirmed his client will plead guilty to eight of the 20 charges in court Tuesday.

Court adjourned Monday to allow time for an agreed statement of facts to be prepared.

The former long-time employee of the Calgary Stampede’s performance group, The Young Canadians, originally pleaded not guilty to 20 charges on the first day of trial earlier this month.

There are eight former Young Canadians named in the case. The charges include sexual assault and making child pornography. The allegations date back to 1992 and continue to 2014.

A videotaped statement to police was played during the trial.

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WATCH: A Calgary courtroom is hearing an interview conducted by police Tuesday in the Philip Heerema trial. As Nancy Hixt reports, the former Young Canadians employee admitted he may have crossed the line with a number of male performers.

Click to play video: '‘I feel like a monster,’ ex-Young Canadian Philip Heerema told investigator in videotaped interview' ‘I feel like a monster,’ ex-Young Canadian Philip Heerema told investigator in videotaped interview
‘I feel like a monster,’ ex-Young Canadian Philip Heerema told investigator in videotaped interview – Jan 16, 2018

During the three-hour interview at Calgary Police Headquarters on June 4, 2015, Heerema told the primary child abuse investigator he felt “like a monster.”

“I feel like a horrible human being.”

READ MORE: ‘I feel like a monster,’ ex-Young Canadian Philip Heerema told investigator in videotaped interview

The prosecution alleges Heerema used his position with The Young Canadians to commit sexual offences against eight boys.

Heerema was with the performance group for 36 years. He was employed by The Calgary Stampede as a business administrator for The Young Canadians for nearly 17 years and was a singer with the group prior to that.

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He resigned from that job at the beginning of the investigation.

A proposed class-action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of several young men, claiming the Calgary Stampede was aware of allegations against the former employee, but failed to act.

The CEO of the Calgary Stampede told Global News the organization took action within 30 minutes of learning of the allegations.

“Within a half hour of becoming aware, Mr. Heerema was escorted off of Stampede Park and we launched an investigation,” Warren Connell previously said.

READ MORE: Lawsuit claims Calgary Stampede had prior knowledge of alleged sexual abuse in The Young Canadians

The Stampede confirmed no statement of defence has yet been filed on its behalf. The Court of Queen’s Bench said there is no statement of defence filed by Heerema.

None of the allegations made in that statement of claim have been proven in court. The court must certify the case is to proceed as a class action. If the court does not approve, the complainant can proceed on his own.

WATCH: The first of eight victims named in a sex abuse case involving ex-Young Canadian Philip Heerema testified in Calgary court Tuesday. Nancy Hixt explains the allegations.

Click to play video: 'First victim testifies at sex abuse trial of ex-Young Canadian Philip Heerema' First victim testifies at sex abuse trial of ex-Young Canadian Philip Heerema
First victim testifies at sex abuse trial of ex-Young Canadian Philip Heerema – Jan 16, 2018

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