Former PA principal facing charges related to historical claims of abuse at Saskatoon Christian school

Duff Friesen turned himself in to Saskatoon police on Thursday. He’s been charged with 11 counts of assault with a weapon. -- Regent Academy/Website

Police have charged a former Prince Albert principal following historical reports of abuse at Saskatoon’s Legacy Christian Academy.

Duff Friesen, 65, is facing 11 counts of assault with a weapon. Friesen turned himself in to police on Thursday, according to a news release.

That afternoon, he appeared in person at Saskatoon Provincial Court. His lawyer appeared over the phone.

He was released on conditions, which include no contact with a list of complainants and not working or volunteering with anyone under the age of 16.

Friesen was the principal at Regent Academy in Prince Albert after serving as a teacher and principal at the Legacy Christian Academy.

In August of last year, the province announced that teachers listed in a lawsuit by former students of the Saskatoon school would not be teaching in the 2022-23 school year.

The $25 million class action lawsuit claims that the school – known at the time as the Christian Centre Academy and Mile Two Church – perpetrated and allowed physical, psychological and sexual abuse.

Friesen is expected to appear in court next on July 17. He’s the second person charged in connection with these allegations, which haven’t been proven in court.

Saskatoon police say they received multiple reports in 2021 and 2022 of historical claims of abuse.

“The victims and accused were known to one another through their affiliation with the Saskatoon faith-based institution,” reads the news release.

According to Friesen’s biography on the Regent Academy website, he’s been involved in Christian education since 1981. He served as the principal of Regent Academy since 2008, according to the website.

Regent Academy is located inside Plaza 88.

– with files from the Saskatoon StarPhoenix