A former Calgary teacher has been charged with sexually abusing six female junior high students two decades ago.
Michael Andreassen Gregory, 57, of De Winton just south of Calgary has been charged with 11 counts of sexual exploitation and six counts of sexual assault in alleged crimes when he was a teacher at John Ware junior high school.
City police began investigating Gregory after a woman lodged a complaint about him sexually abusing her during a 2001 canoe trip with other students not sanctioned by the school.
It’s alleged Gregory “had undressed her and other female students during a canoe trip…exposing them to him and their peers,” said Calgary Police in a press release.
Their investigation led to five other women who claimed they were sexually exploited by the then-teacher while in junior high school between 1999 and 2005.
“It is believed that the teacher used his position of trust to groom female students and get them into situations where a range of sexual activities could occur, both with and without agreement from the students,” said police.
“Young people cannot give free and informed consent for any sexual activity with a person in a position of trust and authority over them, regardless of whether they say they agree to it or not.”
Police say Gregory taught at the school from August 1986 to September 2006.
It’s not uncommon and understandable for victims of sexual abuse to come forward years after the crimes, said Staff Sgt. Michelle Doyle of the city police sex crimes unit.
“There can be a lot of confusion and mixed emotions when a young person experiences exploitation by someone they trusted,” she said.
“It can often take many years before the person looks back on it and realizes that what happened was not okay and that it needs to be reported.”
Police say their investigation into the case continues and are asking anyone with information to call them at 403-266-1234 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Gregory is the second person in the past week to be charged by city police for historical sexual crimes.
On Jan. 11, Calgarian Patrick Zamora, 64, was arrested in the sexual assaults of two women at the Foothills Medical Centre in separate incidents in June and July of 1981.
Advances in DNA science led to his arrest.
Police note that in Canada, there’s no statute of limitations on sex crimes and that survivors of them should come forward and report them no matter how long ago they occurred.
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