EDMONTON – A former Edmonton Public School teacher has been charged and arrested for sexual assault.
47-year-old Harvey James Klok is accused of sexually assaulting a male student in 2004 while teaching at Edmonton Christian High School in the west end.
“We want to let people know that it doesn’t matter if you’re your sexual assault is recent or if it’s in the past, they’re important to us no matter when it happened. EPS takes all of these complaints seriously,” says Detective Barb Clover of the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) Sexual Assault Section.
The victim came forward with the accusation last year.
He alleges Klok sexually assaulted him between September and December of 2004.
“It was a process. A lot of these types of things people are groomed, and, so, they get their confidence and they have a really good strong bond with them, and, unfortunately, it’s used in their own means, not in the best interest of the student,” said Clover on Monday.
Police are releasing few details about the man who’s making the accusation. Investigators will only say the victim was in high school at the time of the alleged assaults.
Clover says male victims of sexual assault can be hesitant to inform police because of fear of the stigma that surrounds the crime.
“It’s very personal. It was very difficult for him to come forward as it is, so I want to keep that confidentiality that he had,” explains Clover. “It’s a very private thing and a lot of times there’s still a lot of victim-blaming no matter how old the person is.”
Klok was arrested in Edmonton in mid-May, but has since been released on bail.
Police say he hasn’t been a teacher since 2007 and currently lives outside of Alberta.
Edmonton Public Schools confirm Klok worked for the district from 2000 to June 2007. He taught Drama, English and TV Arts, and helped run school plays.
“We were aware that they were investigating this individual but we knew he was no longer with our district,” said Jane Sterling, spokesperson with Edmonton Public Schools. “We found out late last week that charges would be laid.”
For the district, the allegations are upsetting.
“Children come to us and they need to be in a safe place where they trust the adults around them and they feel safe and their parents have that expectation and we do too,” explained Sterling Monday.
“It’s really upsetting. Our hearts go out to this individual who’s been very brave to come forward.”
In 2007, Klok resigned and left on his own accord.
A newspaper in Newfoundland described Klok as a local man who was living in Baine Harbour on the Burin Peninsula and assisting teachers and students with drama and had formed a couple of youth music groups.
A spokesperson for the school district for that area tells Global News there is no record of employment for a Harvey Klok.
On the website ratemyteacher.com, one person’s comment about Klok reads: “Harvey comes across as an outstanding individual. Behind closed doors, he manipulates young people.”
Investigators believe there may be other victims.
“Just the time he was at the school and access to more than one person, it’s definitely a possibility,” explains Clover.
Police are asking other potential victims to come forward. You can watch the full police press conference below: