April 23, 2019 3:07 pm
Updated: April 23, 2019 8:23 pm

‘Why me?’: Victim impact statements read in Calgary teacher’s sexual abuse case

WATCH: Heartbreak was evident in a Calgary courtroom on Tuesday as victims of a former music teacher told court how his actions have impacted their lives. Christian Sarile has pleaded guilty to 17 sexual abuse charges. Nancy Hixt reports

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Victims of former Calgary music teacher Christian Sarile broke down in court Tuesday, as they described the impact of his actions on their lives.

Sarile pleaded guilty April 4 to 17 sexual abuse charges.

One young victim broke down as she told court of the anger and disgust she feels toward Sarile. She said she has lost the ability to trust, and has specifically lost trust in her teachers.

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“I always used to think of my teachers as friends… It never occurred to me they would abuse their power,” the girl told court.

READ MORE: Calgary educator facing 49 sex abuse charges to remain in custody over holidays

The abuse happened over nearly a decade, while Sarile was a teacher, band member and band instructor. Court heard he targeted girls between the ages of 12 and 16.

Sarile was first arrested in May 2017, and then released on bail.

Following a media release by police, dozens of other people came forward and further complaints were investigated.

Sarile has been in custody since December 2017.

He admitted to using social media to lure young girls to provide child pornography photos and videos, and engage in sexual acts. Sarile also sent sexually explicit photos and videos of himself.

READ MORE: Calgary educator now facing 49 charges as 19 more underage alleged victims come forward

According to a 72 page agreed statement of facts, Sarile would give money, vapes and alcohol to the victims and also used threats to pressure the victims into sending nude pictures and meeting for sexual contact.

Sarile admits he used a fictitious persona in all but two cases.

Court heard the sexual activity took place in the basement of his parent’s home, in Sarile’s car and in his father’s van. He also recorded some of the sexual acts without telling the victims.

Another victim told court it’s an “eternal battle” to even get up and out of bed each day.

“I finally have a voice,” she said, adding she wonders, “Why me? Why did this happen to me?”

Crown prosecutors Martha O’Connor and Aurelie Beland read the majority of the victim impact statements, including several written by parents of the victims.

“I fear this will always haunt her,” the mother of one victim wrote.

Another mother sobbed as she told court she’s endured three years of sleepless nights.

She described extreme stress and anxiety, and said she now has to take anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication and sleeping pills.

“Not only have you harmed my daughter… you harmed me as well,” the mother said, adding several times, “It’s not fair.”

More than a dozen victim impact statements were entered as exhibits during the sentencing hearing.

Sentencing arguments in the case are scheduled to begin Thursday.

WATCH BELOW: A Calgary man charged with sexually assaulting three teens is now facing dozens of additional charges. Doug Vaessen reports.

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