A historical case

Bible school at the centre of sex abuse charges admits one historical case


By ,Calgary Sun
First posted: | Updated:
There was a historical case of sexual abuse at Prairie Bible Institute that was dealt with by firing the accused staff member, president Mark Maxwell said Monday.
The case, dating to before 1958, involved a student attending a grade school connected to the world renowned Bible college near Three Hills — about 130 km northeast of Calgary — and a staff member, who has since died.
Maxwell said he was made aware of the case Monday morning, days after another former student, Linda Fossen, filed a complaint with Three Hills RCMP, alleging she was sexually abused by her father while he was a student and part-time employee at PBI for about three years in the 1960s and 70s.
Police are now investigating.
Fossen detailed her allegations in a 2008 book, Out of the Miry Clay, and said since then she has been approached by 80 other former students who said they were also victims of sexual abuse while at the school.
“The school’s responsibility begins if the school knew about it,” said Maxwell on Fossen’s claim.
“And totally, to the extent of the best of our information, it was never known by the school.”
None of the 80 alleged victims have approached the school, said Maxwell, and no other complaints have been made to police.
A Facebook group was created in September detailing alleged incidents between another staff member and student, which Maxwell said are unfounded.
“I have talked with the people named there,” he said.
“The accused and the victim, they both said ‘it’s just not true.’
“One was about 10 days ago and the (victim’s denial) was in an email on Friday.”
The pair did have a relationship while the accused was a teacher at PBI and the alleged victim an underage high school student, said Maxwell, however her parents were aware and consented.
“I would use the words, honourable, romantic interest,” he said.
“It was not sexual.
“Her parents were part of the decision that they could have the friendship.”
Maxwell said the pair kissed but there was no sexual contact.
He invited any victims to contact the school or police.
“We’ll walk with you through whatever process you want, whether it’s over to thee police or calling someone to account who has been on staff,” he said.
“We will help as much as we possibly can, it’s not in our interest to cover anything up.”
Police in Three Hills are asking any victims to contact them directly at 1-403-443-5539 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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