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Kelly Malcolm Grant admitted to molesting three girls over eight years, starting in 1994 while volunteering with the Centre Street Church in Calgary. ((CBC))

A former volunteer at a Calgary church has been sentenced to two years in jail and two years probation for molesting three girls in his care.

Kelly Malcolm Grant, 44, looked straight ahead as Court of Queen's Bench Justice Bryan Mahoney read out his sentence on Friday. One of Grant's victims broke down crying in the courtroom.

Earlier this year, Grant had pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual touching of girls under the age of 14 and two counts of sexual exploitation while being in a position of trust.

Grant had been a youth ministry volunteer at the Centre Street Church before moving with his wife and three children to another Calgary church in 2004. He has since been served with divorce papers and can visit his daughter only under supervision, the court heard.

Grant admitted to molesting three girls — two of them sisters — over eight years, starting in 1994 while volunteering with the Centre Street Church. The court heard that Grant fondled and kissed the girls on out-of-town church trips and in his vehicles. They reported the incidents in 2005, sparking a police investigation and the subsequent charges.

The victims, who cannot be named under a publication ban, are now 24, 26, and 28 years old.

Outside the courthouse on Friday, the oldest victim said she is happy with the sentence and feels she can now move on with her life.

Mahoney took into consideration Grant's guilty plea, which acknowledged some responsibility, in handing down the sentence. He placed a number of conditions on Grant's release, including a ban on working with women under the age of 18 while on probation.

The judge also recommended that Grant take a sexual offender treatment program while incarcerated.

"[It] sent a strong message to the community that our children have to be protected and not to be allowed to become victims in a place that should be a sanctuary," said Crown prosecutor Ken McCaffrey.

"Hopefully it will give courage to other victims to come forward and get further protection in our society for children."

McCaffrey had asked the court for a prison term of three years, while the defence had argued for a conditional sentence. Ten other charges against Grant were stayed when he pleaded guilty in June.