Sexual predator Christian Sarile sat stone-faced in the prisoner’s box Tuesday as a Calgary judge heard a parade of victim-impact statements detailing the harm he caused.
Justice Earl Wilson heard statements from 11 people affected by Sarile’s crimes, and privately read a statement from one other victim, in advance of sentencing submissions Thursday.
Many victims or parents spoke of the “nightmare” their lives have become because of the “evil” acts of the former Calgary music teacher.
Sarile, 29, pleaded guilty earlier this month to 17 sex-related charges in connection with his abuse of girls between the ages of 12 and 16 over an eight-year period.
The charges involved him luring girls, mostly in junior high school, to perform sexual services for cash and other considerations, as well as him extorting sex from them using phoney online personas.
Most of the victims, or their mothers, had Crown prosecutors Martha O’Connor and Aurelie Beland read their statements at the Court of Queen’s Bench hearing.
But two young victims and one mother bravely faced Sarile in person.
“This experience has caused me to lose the ability to trust people,” one victim said, standing at the courtroom podium mere metres from where Sarile sat guarded by a sheriff.
“I always used to think of my teachers as someone I could count on for anything,” she said.
“I am angry, hurt and sad for all the girls.”
A second victim, who had her statement read in by O’Connor, also spoke of her lost trust in people.
“I felt scared and betrayed by someone I thought I could trust,” she wrote.
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A third victim’s statement, read by Beland, spoke of the emotional scars suffered.
“This abuse changed me completely,” the victim wrote.
“I felt an extreme sense of embarrassment and shame.”
She said she believed people would judge her for what Sarile did to her.
“I felt dirty because of the sexual things I got manipulated into doing.”
Another young woman spoke of the anguish she experienced in not coming forward sooner, knowing it allowed Sarile to abuse others.
“He robbed me of my innocence,” she said, in a statement read by O’Connor.
“I cry for my teenage self and wish she didn’t have to grow up so fast,” she said.
“My heart breaks for the other survivors . . . I think every day of what I could have prevented.”
Wilson will hear sentencing submissions Thursday from the Crown and defence lawyer Yoav Niv.
But the judge won’t decide Sarile’s punishment until after he hears a constitutional challenge by Niv in June.
The lawyer wants the law, which only allows for 1.5 days credit for each day served on remand, to be ruled unconstitutional and for Sarile to be given a much greater reduction in his sentence for his so-called hard time.