WATCH: Victoria Police charge Harry Sadd with sexually abusing a boy and say likely many more victims dating back to the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Tess van Straaten reports.
Victoria Police have charged Harry Charles Sadd with sexually abusing a young boy and investigators fear he has more victims spanning several decades and multiple provinces.
“Our investigation leads us to believe there are likely many more victims that are suffering in silence due to Sadd’s actions and today we are asking for them to come forward,” Sgt. Kristi Ross, a special victim’s unit investigator with the Victoria Police, told a news conference Wednesday.
Police are making the rare public appeal after the 70-year-old Victoria man and former youth badminton coach was arrested for sexual assault and indecent assault dating back to the late 1970’s.
Special Victim’s Unit investigators say the abuse started when the child, who is now in his 50’s, was just nine years old and lasted until his late teens.
“He’s been trying to deal with it on his own for decades and it hasn’t been easy,” Sgt. Ross says. “I am personally impressed with the victim’s bravery in coming forward.”
“Typically when children are abused there’s a huge amount of guilt and shame attached to that that happens and a huge pressure to keep it secret,” explains Paula Green of the Victoria Men’s Trauma Centre, which is offering treatment for Sadd’s potential victims.
Most of Harry Sadd’s neighbours on his quiet Vic West Street were shocked to learn of the arrest.
But one long-time neighbour, who asked to remain anonymous, told CHEK News that he wasn’t surprised.
Through the window, he says he could see Sadd looking at child pornography and called police about it a few years ago.
Victoria Police say they’ve had contact with him over the years and he has prior convictions for sexual interference in 1991, as well as other files that didn’t make it to a charge that they now plan to re-open.
Sadd, who used to run a rooming house that was shutdown by the City of Victoria, also worked as a teacher in Alberta and investigators say it’s likely there are victims in other provinces as well as ones in Victoria from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.
“Every victim of sex abuse deserves to be heard and we will believe you,” Sgt, Ross says. “If you have been victimized by Harry Charles Sadd you no longer have to suffer in silence.”
Potential victims and anyone who has information that could help investigators should call Victoria Police at (250) 995-7654 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
Sadd’s been released on strict conditions, including staying away from children and anywhere they’re likely to be found such as playgrounds and swimming pools.
Police are asking anyone who sees Sadd violating these conditions to immediately call 911.