07/29/2016 11:18 EDT | Updated 07/29/2016 11:59 EDT

Philip Heerema, Former Young Canadians Employee, To Stand Trial On Sex Abuse Charges

Police launched an investigation into the 52-year-old in January 2014.

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada

CALGARY — A former long-time employee of the Young Canadians, a Calgary performance group, has been ordered to stand trial on a string of child sex abuse charges.

Following a preliminary inquiry, a judge ordered Philip Heerema to stand trial Thursday on 22 of 24 charges laid, including sexual assault and making child pornography.

Police launched an investigation into the 52-year-old in January 2014, after a man came forward claiming he had been victimized as a teen in 1997.

The complainant said he was a teenage performer and Heerema was in a position of authority over him at the time.

Multiple complainants

After receiving the initial complaint, the Calgary Police Service said multiple complainants came forward, all of whom are males who were between the ages of 15 and 18 years old at the time.

Heerema was with the Young Canadians for 36 years but resigned from the organization at the beginning of the investigation.

The case will be back in court in September to set a date for trial.


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